“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
Hi Blue Crew-
I want to share something that is top of mind all the time, and that is inclusivity. Since the inception of Alkalign back in 2015, inclusivity has been a priority. Coming from the traditional barre world which lacked most forms of diversity, I wanted to create a method and a community where any and everyone felt welcome. The need to let down our walls and open our (blue) hearts has only been illuminated with the rise in violence and hatred against Asians, Jews, Muslims and people of color. This is on top of the already fat-phobic culture we live in and the fitness industry that preys on it.
All this being said, if I’m being 100% honest, I haven’t known where to start. As a white, upper-middle class, conventionally thin, heterosexual woman, “privilege” is practically my middle name. The only way I could be more privileged is if I were a man. 😉 As much as I try to educate myself about my biases, mine and others, I am afraid to bring up topics of diversity or inclusion. I fear that I will be judged for not knowing anything about what a lived experience is like. However, when I admit that fear to myself, I feel like a coward and an imposter.
As a mom, business owner, leader in my community and health coach, I am always encouraging people to take a leap and to try things that are scary. I pose questions like “what’s the worst that will happen?” In the case of diversity and inclusion, I actually have a friend whose comments were taken out of context and she received death threats as a result. Whaaaat!? Why would I rock the boat and risk being attacked when my personal vessel sails through life mostly unthreatened and unharmed? Because the world needs rocking if we are ever going to make progress. Status quo is unacceptable. When I look back at our history, those who had the biggest impact are those who rocked the boat and advocated for change. I want to be an agent for change, particularly for those who are underrepresented in the fitness industry.
My goal is to make Alkalign more accessible to and welcoming of people of all colors, cultures, shapes, identities, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Now is the time to put Alkalign’s plan into action.
Access + Inclusion + Action = Progress
Alkalign is forming an Inclusion Committee. This will be a group of people who are passionate about helping Alkalign break barriers in the fitness industry and beyond. Our mission is to educate, empower and inspire all people to be the most healthy, vibrant and accepted selves.
As I always say, start small vs. not at all. So here we go.
1. Mark your calendar for our first event! May is Jewish American Heritage Month and we are holding a workshop via Zoom on MAY 10th @ 6:15 pm PDT. Click here to RSVP. All are welcome to participate, so invite family and friends to join.
The Oldest Hate – The History of Antisemitism in Honor of Jewish American Heritage Month
Considering that 2021 was the year that suffered the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in the US since they were tracked in 1979, it makes sense for us to develop an understanding of antisemitism. Our Alkalign member, April Powers, was the head of Inclusion for Nestle USA, managed DEI at Amgen, and has served as the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer of a large global non-profit. She also happens to be a Black Jew who continues to offer inclusion training through First Impression Rx, Jewbian Princess, and Project Shema. We hope you will join us for this presentation and conversation.
2. Interested in joining our inclusion committee? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The details are still TBD but we will kick this committee off in late May and plan to meet 1x per month as a group. Initial action items will include agreeing on goals of the committee, setting up a structure and brainstorming ways to increase diversity and inclusion at Alkalign, both immediately and over time.
We hope you will help us spread the word about Alkalign and, if you’re so included, join the committee. We promise it will be both impactful and fun.