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.
Update to my above June 17th Statement
The organizations and individuals listed here are helping us grow our knowledge and awareness, guide our reflection, connect with individual and collective responsibilities, and take action. I’m grateful for them and their work. If you would like a direct introduction, please reach out to me via the email address below.
This work is lifelong and likely to extend into future generations. I’ll share my personal journey and learning via our blog and podcast as our work unfolds.
In early July, our Glo leadership team started anti-racism training with SVP Los Angeles.
SVP Los Angeles is a multi-racial team that has designed and led workshops and trainings in anti-racism and liberatory workplaces in various large and small-group settings. They have facilitated customized trainings for companies and individuals representing over 150 different nonprofit, philanthropy, private sectors, and government entities.
SVPLA is a nonprofit organization. All funds invested in their consulting work have the dual benefit of supporting Glo in our anti-racism reflection, learning, and action planning, while also enabling SVPLA to provide grants and programs to nonprofit organizations led by BIPOC leaders working to dismantle systemic oppression.
- Session One – Internalized Anti-Racism, July 9. This session created space for our leadership team to reflect on racial identity, begin to identify internalized white supremacy, and engage with tools for cultivating an openness to learning and growth.
- Session Two – Interpersonal Anti-Racism, July 16. This session focused on tending to interpersonal relationships in the workplace, including tools for cultivating strong relationships and team agreements, and practicing calling in and making amends as integral elements in anti-racist culture.
- Session Three – Institutional Anti-Racism, July 23. This session focused on reckoning with the dynamics of white supremacy culture as it shows up in the workplace, and an initial exploration of the practices, norms, and policies to make the workplace more inclusive, liberatory, and equitable.
- Session Four – Systemic Anti-Racism, July 30. In this session, we discussed the impact of systemic racism within Glo as a company and in the communities Glo serves. We ended the session with concrete tools to identify and combat systemic racism in policies and practices within the company and in community.
Conscious management of unconscious bias – BiasSync
We recently signed a contract with BiasSync for a two-year engagement. We resonate with BiasSync’s approach as a long-term solution designed to promote behavioral change.
As our work with BiasSync evolves, we’ll integrate antiracism training and practices across our entire team.
BiasSync is the first science-based assessment and development software solution designed to help organizations more effectively assess, manage, and reduce the negative impact of unconscious bias in the work environment. They pair online assessments of unconscious bias and related cognitive processes with interactive, video-based professional development content that educates employees to help mitigate the impact of bias. Their mission is to create more fair and respectful workplaces. They are clear that diversity is not just about numbers; it’s about people’s experiences in the workplace.
- Our onboarding begins in September. Year one for our entire team will focus on a baseline education of unconscious racial and gender bias, cognitive empathy, and open-mindedness.
- BiasSync also partners with subject matter experts to help companies build upon and sustainably integrate the work referred above. In September, Dr. Atira Charles will begin with an audit of our DEI plans, performance management practices, and hiring practices. Insights and recommendations generated will drive future collaboration with Dr. Charles.
- BiasSync plans to roll-out additional unconscious bias topics; currently, they focus on LGBTQ-bias and expand on intersectionality.
Team surveys – Culture Amp
- We currently plan to transition our internal team surveys to CultureAmp before the end of 2020. Part of what led us to decide to use them is their science-backed diversity and inclusion survey questions and tools developed in partnership with Paradigm. More information here. They couple survey results with tools and solutions for implementing change post feedback.
- I recommend CultureAmp’s free Diversity & Inclusion Starter Kit.
- Since June 17th, 2020, we’ve welcomed several new teachers to our platform with more coming soon.
- We’re excited to continue to introduce to our community new faculty as their classes appear on Glo. We announce new faculty via email, blog, and social media.
Director of People Operations
- We’re also excited that we are ready to hire an experienced leader of People Operations at Glo. We began working with Bentley and Tiffany at Conscious Culture in early 2019 to help us set the baseline for everything people operations at Glo in preparation to fill this role. Among many other responsibilities, this role will oversee DEI. We posted the job description a few weeks ago.
- While the above actions and training address aspects of the reflection and awareness work required for sustained behavior change, I have found both psychological therapy and business coaching to be an essential supplement. Some on our leadership team have engaged therapy and business coaching for some time and are using their private sessions to deepen the inner work.
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