Dear Glo Community,
Black Lives Matter.
I will do better.
I’d assumed, since childhood, justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color was inevitable. Others were leading and would continue to lead the fight against unjust American policies. My White privilege allowed me to numb my heart and push experiences of their trauma to my subconscious. I left their pain, fear, terror, sadness, exhaustion, mourning and so much more unexamined. America has disadvantaged and criminalized Black life for far too long. I hope the world is waking up to realize that these devastating inequalities will persist if we assume others will lead the fight.
Awakening to injustice requires that we no longer sit back in the safety of silence and virtue signaling. We are required to stand up, to serve with our bodies, our egos, and our hearts on the line.
I haven’t learned or done enough about systemic racism in America and how it creates realities in the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color that are far different from mine. I haven’t learned about the embodiment of race or white-body supremacy and many other unconscious ways in which White people are advantaged. I am sorry. Since the police murder of George Floyd, feeling a nauseating mix of outrage, fear, sadness, and shame continues to motivate my actions in a new proactive way where I hope to share in the responsibility for change.
A path towards wholeness and self-care must include the uncomfortable inner work that reveals the deeper truths of living with White privilege and what it means for those living without it. To avoid the discomfort is to perpetuate White supremacy and injustice. I’ve started with confronting these truths through learning, conversation, and my work through Glo. I’m uncovering how I can turn hopes into actions, how I can be a better ally for change, and how I can help dismantle the forces that continue to dehumanize BIPOC.
We know from you, the Glo community, because you have shared with us all these years, that you are committed to your own growth and healing. We know you to be courageous seekers exploring life’s potential in embodiment. As Resmaa Menakem notes, “the real battlefield is inside our bodies.”
“At first glance, today’s manifestation of this conflict appears to be a struggle for political and social power. But as we’ll see, the real conflict is more visceral. It is a battle for the souls and bodies of white Americans. While we see anger and violence in the streets of our country, the real battlefield is inside our bodies. If we are to survive as a country, it is inside our bodies where this conflict will need to be resolved.”
“…we will never outgrow white-body supremacy just through discussion, training, or anything else that’s mostly cognitive. Instead, we need to look to the body—and to the embodied experience of trauma.”
Daily I learn much that I didn’t know and more that I need to unlearn. I have more questions than answers. Our country requires urgent reform.
And we are focused on making changes at Glo.
In 2019 we created a vision for the culture we want to experience in our work at Glo and we activated our plan to operationalize it. We want our community to know what we have actualized, how our team culture supports diversity and inclusion, and where we will do better.
We are keenly aware of the absence of diversity in the wellness industry and inside our company. While it is likely that our team identifies as majority-White, we have not collected data regarding race. We are committed to broadening the diversity of our team including our faculty and content offerings and help advance real and effective change within our industry. We must work to alter the notion that wellness looks a certain way, that it is defined by particular cultural norms, that it is a luxury good accessible to the few.
Our current plans are based on what we know today. I’ll lead with articulating our core values. Unless core values are given voice our most well-intentioned diversity and inclusion efforts will fall short. We mean to live up to our call to betterment.
- We defined our core values in 2019. One of our year-long objectives for 2020 is training and learning together the key behaviors that support these values. Core values need to be more than words on a page – they are supported with shared routines and practices. In 2020 we are learning and iterating on these practices. The refined set will live on our About Us pages in early 2021.
- We understand that to articulate, invest in, and actualize our core values is an on-going process. We are committed to creating a conscious culture that is both kind and high-performing. Our values mean to manifest as a psychologically safe, hospitable, and creative work environment.
Listening and learning
- We are soliciting feedback from our team.
- We are creating opportunities for team members to have time to process and to gain personal wisdom that will, in turn, help all participate in this long-term commitment.
- We are identifying thought leaders to advance our learning and host internal conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- We are working to embed systems and processes to support sustainable change. We want to be shown our blind spots. Our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives will create routines, norms, shared language and goals, and processes that support our values of growing awareness, nurturing kindness, and practicing curiosity.
- We will hire one or more experts to partner with our internal team to audit and embed best practices into our current people systems and develop a long-term strategy for becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
- We will learn how best to collect and share our diversity statistics to hold us accountable.
- We will initiate unconscious bias assessments and training teamwide.
- We will train managers on additional responsibilities in service of furthering our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
- We will create team member resource groups.
Recruiting and onboarding
- We will work with partners and recruiters to create a more robust referral program to ensure diverse candidates enter the hiring process and are prioritized for open roles.
- We will assess and standardize our interview and selection processes.
- We will create systems of accountability to track, share, and report internally progress towards these goals.
- We will continue to diversify our talent to include more BIPOC in our marketing materials through photoshoots, videos, and the teachers featured on our channels.
- We will support by marketing particular events, entities, and projects that advance the causes of justice and diversity.
- We will acknowledge, support, and when applicable, continue to offer resources that contribute to the BIPOC community and provide our platform as a place to share their voices.
- We are actively committed to seeking out deeper conversation, to stay in the conversation, even when those conversations are uncomfortable.
- Glo will offer a more diverse faculty. This plan, implemented last year, has not been fast enough to create the change we’ve long wanted. Having acknowledged this internally, we are prioritizing these efforts.
- We will educate ourselves more thoroughly regarding our current normative definitions of wellness that limit our understandings. By listening and learning from other cultural wellness practices we will evolve the meaning of “wellness.”
- We will solicit feedback from Black people and People of Color on our staff and from our members about the conversations and community opportunities that they would like to see Glo host.
- The Glo Together podcast will launch this summer. Our podcast will explore issues regarding systemic change and create a forum for you to raise issues you deem important. We will amplify voices that stand for equality, meaningful change, and accessible wellness.
- We pledge ourselves to deeper, more meaningful conversation.
- We look forward to expanding our give back and nonprofit initiatives, including making our service more accessible and affordable to marginalized communities.
- We made a donation to NAACP Empowerment Programs and Project Avary.
- We plan to organize and host online fundraisers to help raise money for marginalized wellness professionals.
Our actions will expand as we continue to learn and grow. We welcome your feedback and invite you to share your ideas with us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Derik Mills, Co-Founder and CEO of Glo