Getting Brave in honor of 9/11

As a native New Yorker, 9/11 shaped my coming-of-age. No matter how many years pass, I always get very quiet the on September 11th. I still can’t accompany out of towners when they want to visit the Memorial, so I tend to drop them off and pick them up later. Seeing the Freedom Tower from my apartment’s roof (or from anywhere that I catch a glimpse of it) consistently gives me chills and makes me instantly drop into gratitude that this city is my home. I realize more every day how events of my past have shaped the things I want to put into the world… which makes me quite proud to say that this year, I am starting something that I am fairly certain had it’s first seeds planted 17 years ago on September 11, 2001… 

The idea for Brave Conversations (over coffee) - what I’m calling it for now - was born out of feeling how important it was to sit around the table (with coffee, obvi) asking deep questions and putting words to hard feelings, and how vital sharing your story is to your own healing, forward momentum and mental health. Looking back, I can now see what that did for my confidence, my identity, my empathy, my resilience and my ability to lead. It was always my goal to not only find each of our original Unimatics a good home, but also for these little pots to have a legacy of their own. We hope that they inspire their families to linger at the table just a little longer while they finish the pot of coffee, to ask one more question to tell one more story, to get people out of their heads, beneath the surface and deep into their hearts… 

When shootings in the US started to pick up last year, this idea tugged at me again, wanting to be more fully formed. Then, the #MeToo movement exploded on the scene, again, that tug… There were so many perspectives that needed to be heard, or maybe even more so - invited to be voiced - but not to a group of people who just agree, rather to a diverse group who values curiosity and exploration over judgement. Sure, we can fight and march, but I believe that the only change that will be sustainable is the change the happens when we genuinely want the person across the table from us to be well. Plus, from what I know of brain science it’s impossible to take actions in anger that will lead to creativity or connection - it’s not me, it’s just biology. Our goal is for the Unimatic and for the universal ritual of coffee to be able to inspire us to gather around the table and bravely share the good and bad of who we are, what we believe, what we hope and what we fear… the goal is for the Unimatic and the ritual of coffee to spark that shift… Interestingly, because of my slight obsession with learning about the brain, communication and human connection, I’d already been taking action on making this real, without really knowing it, with the young women of Legacy Out Loud, with the students in Unimatic University, with friends, loved ones, everywhere I spoke or hosted a workshop - I just needed to give it structure and pick a day to start… so…

I couldn’t be more proud to share that on September 7th, I get to start! I get to help inspire bravery, compassion and kindness on behalf of my beloved city in honor 9/11. Caffe Unimatic will be collaborating with Kevin Tuerff (have you heard of the Broadway musical “Come From Away” - it’s based on his personal 9/11 story), his charity: Pay It Forward 9/11 (where he’s started a movement of performing 3 random acts of kindness for strangers on 9/11 for the past 16 years) and the Charter for Compassion (do you really need an explanation for this!?) to facilitate a Brave Conversation amongst 9/11 survivors, first responders, students, Muslims and others whose lives were forever impacted on that Tuesday morning 17 years ago. After getting to facilitate that conversation, I will get to hit the streets of New York City with the group and perform random acts of kindness - what a way to spend a Friday :) and begin putting something into the world that I believe in with every ounce of my being... I will CLEARLY be buying a lot of people’s coffees today ;)


[ More on this later but, to learn more, head here: ]

[ Also, we will be hosting another Brave Conversation on National Coffee Day (September 29), if you’d like to join us, sign up at the link above ]

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What the Unimatic family is saying…

"Thank you so much, I happened to see the program on Netflix called Coffee for All. As you refer to my net coffee pot as a "her" she will be appropriately named "Grace" after my grandmother who gave me my first percolator coffee pot at the age of 18. Now as I brew coffee in the mornings I will think of my grandparents more often."

- Joe, family member of Unimatic #392

"I am truly happy with the Unimatic. A perfect cup of coffee and the story that goes with it even makes it more enjoyable."

- David, family member of Unimatic #418

Thank you dearest Elisabeth for being the much needed catalyst for change. For sharing your remedy for our home life that has been suspended after much trial and trauma. We laughed, shared, marveled and lingered the table discussing your father’s creation. We spent time together as a family, enjoying the newness of what is usually the mundane. Creating your shared legacy... a cup of coffee. The Unimatic made our house a home... long gone are the quick days of the Keurig or nearest coffee shop. We look forward to spending tomorrow morning with Brunetta.

- Monica, family member of Unimatic #329