We see the pain caused by a culture of white supremacy and systemic racism. We see the harm done to our black friends, teachers, and students, and we refuse to turn away from it.
All of us at MELT are outraged by the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, and are committed to doing our part to dismantle white supremacy.
I’ve often said pain is the great equalizer – it doesn’t discriminate – however accessing the tools and education to get out of pain can be impossible if you don’t have the financial resources. It’s a problem that self-care is a luxury accessible mainly by the white and privileged.
I want MELT to be a part of the solution.
Starting this month, we’re creating a company-wide Diversity and Inclusion Plan aimed at helping MELT direct resources to communities of color and become a more consciously diverse organization. We’re starting with three core initiatives, but these are only the beginning.
First, we’re hosting a nationwide MELT Instructor fundraising event for Loveland Therapy Fund. I’ll be kicking off the series of events and am encouraging all of my instructors to participate and support this incredible organization that provides culturally-informed therapeutic services to black women and girls.
Second, I’ll be hosting interviews on social media with black entrepreneurs, instructors, and leaders in the health and fitness industry. The fitness industry has been dominated by white voices for decades and it’s time we change this.
Third, we’re conducting a top-to-bottom diversity and inclusivity review across the brand to identify next steps to making MELT more accessible to communities of color. I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge that our instructor base consists predominantly of white women. To effect greater change, MELT will actively and aggressively seek to form partnerships with black wellness communities and offer financial scholarships to those who need assistance.
There is so much more to do and we recognize that a single action is not enough. All of us at MELT are committed to do our part to address systemic racism, dismantle white supremacy, and bring MELT’s message of pain-free living to the black community.
Read on to learn more and get involved with what we’re doing.
We’re going to amplify the voices of our BIPOC instructors and work with them to identify effective ways to bring MELT to communities of color by establishing a new BIPOC MELT Instructor Collective. This collective will be co-chaired by MELT COO and Boutique Fitness Solutions Co-Founder Julian Barnes, and will also include other members of our team. This collective will also:
If you’re a MELT Instructor, expect to see a community-wide email about this soon.
Roxy Menzies, an instructor and writer for Pilates Anytime, recently wrote, “Before we can have equality, we must have equity. Equality means we all start at the same starting line whereas equity focuses on providing everyone with full benefits and both share the same finishing line. We need more equity in the Pilates industry in order to get to equality.”
We see how white voices have dominated the fitness and wellness industry, and we want to use our platforms to amplify black voices to create more equity. We’ll start by hosting interviews to highlight influential BIPOC leaders in the fitness and wellness community and are also making plans to create partnerships with black-owned fitness and wellness brands that are making a positive impact within the BIPOC community.
From the banners you see on our website to the images and ads we run on social media, and the emails you receive from us, we’re going to do a better job of showcasing that MELT is for every-body – all races, gender expressions, ages, and body types. We’re a body-positive modality by design but recognize we’ve done a poor job mirroring this in our branding. Expect to see significant changes in how we show up online in the next few months.
We recognize supporting the BIPOC community means investing in businesses that model diversity and inclusivity. That’s why we’ll be reviewing all of our vendors and company needs to determine what products or services could be purchased from black-owned businesses. From the accounting and printing services we use to the hotels we recommend for our teacher trainings, we’re going to be more conscious about who we buy from and support.
We’re unified in our goal to make MELT and the wellness industry more inclusive, and we recognize it starts with individually un-learning the mindsets that contribute to systemic racism and white supremacy. We’re investing in every single member of our staff going through anti-racism and diversity and inclusion training this summer, and will be coming together to share and brainstorm ways to help our team environment be more inclusive.
Boutique Fitness Solutions | Boutique Fitness Solutions’ mission is to create a platform to educate, connect, and support boutique fitness business owners so they receive the resources needed to grow strong, healthy, self-supporting businesses that serve the needs of their evolving fitness clients.
The Loveland Foundation | Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Loveland Therapy fund provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy.
Black Boys Om | Black Boys OM exists to inspire wellness by creating a connected community of Black Leaders who are already using the tools of Yoga and mindfulness to create positive and lasting change in their local communities.
Black Girl Pilates | A space specifically for and centered around Black/Afro Latina women who teach Pilates to share ideas, successes and struggles as instructors within the business of the method, and identify and dismantle areas where Black/Afro Latina women are left out.
Liberate Meditation | Liberate is the #1 meditation app for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community, creating meditations and talks designed for the BIPOC experience.
You Good Sis Yoga Collective | A collective for black and brown women looking for a mental, spiritual and physical check in. They strive to define and create a specific space dedicated to the wellbeing of women of color.
BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health) Collective | A collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities.
Naaya Wellness | Naaya, which is the Shona word for healing, roots People of Color in their well-being through decolonizing wellness.
Elevate Inspirational Living App | Elevate is an inspirational living and self-care mobile application that serves as a personal guide to mental, physical, and emotional success – encouraging users to manifest into their best selves.
Transparent Black Girl | A wellness collective shattering unconventional stigmas surrounding what it means to be well for black women.
100 Black Men of America, Inc. | The 100’s health and wellness goals are to raise awareness, provide access to health care and give health information that will ultimately promote behavior change resulting in a healthier lifestyle.
Radically Fit | Radically Fit was built to serve the LGBTQ/POC community by offering an inclusive, body positive, safe space for anyone to workout and build strong relationships.
The Happy Org | A youth-founded and led 501(c)(3) organization that promotes youth empowerment through holistic education. They commit to planting seeds for the next generation to blossom into happy, healthy, informed, and activated individuals in their homes, schools, communities, and the world.
Fly Girl Collective | A movement and a community committed to celebrating and promoting diversity and representation in fitness, and inspiring black and brown women to pursue a fitness lifestyle.
Girls United | Girls United is the premier destination for young Black women who are interested in fostering a digital community of leaders. Together, they teach one another about beauty, wellness, literacy, entrepreneurship, relationships and creativity.