1951 Coffee Team Photo

Our Mission

At 1951 Coffee Company, we blend the warmth of coffee with the strength of community to uplift refugees on their journey to new beginnings in the United States.

Who We Are

1951 Coffee Company, founded in 2015, is a non-profit specialty coffee organization that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the United States by providing job training and employment to refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues.

Our name is derived from the UNHCR’s 1951 Refugee Convention which first defined and set forth guidelines for the protection of refugees. In the spirit of this convention, 1951 Coffee works with refugees to help them overcome the unique barriers they face in seeking and sustaining employment. 

Third Space Theory

A Third Space is a place between home and work or home and school that serves as the primary external social connection point for members of a given community. In the United States the coffee shop serves as on of our primary third spaces. If we are to welcome refugees into the United States then the coffee shop can serve as a platform to help bring newcommers into the center of American life, not just as observers or participants in culture, but as co-creators of a shared culture.



    • Providing Genuine Welcome
    • Being People Driven
    • Preserving Self-Determination
    • Taking Purposeful Action
    • Using a Transformative Approach
    • Creating an Educational Environment
    1951 Coffee Fellow Products 12oz Language Mug on a desk from the back



    • Coffee shops hold a unique place in American life
    • Change in the coffee industry can epitomize change across society
    • Employment is key to starting a new life in the United States for refugees, but salary alone isn’t enough
    • Refugees deserve dignified employment
    • Employment should serve as a conduit for social connection and belonging 
    • Refugees should be able to determine their own futures
    How We Do

    What We Do

    • Free barista training for all referrals in line with the Specialty Coffee Association standards- $2000 value
    • Job placement support for graduates with no time limit
    • Graduate eligibility for employment at our own 1951 Coffee Shop
    • 1951 Coffee Shop provides employment for 9-10 people
    • Educational and onboarding support for partner cafes
    • Community events and education to create a welcoming community
    • Career coaching
    • English Language support for 1951 Coffee staff
    • Entreprenurial support for any 1951 Coffee graduates