A LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY

Dear misfits
it is an important time
a time for change

 

i want to address the pain and devastating reality of Black lives and all racially marginalized people

 

i am coming to this work late
and
it’s never too late to start

 

taking time to reflect over this past week 
so i can better acknowledge that harm has been caused unknowingly

 

Doing the deep work of recognizing that by thinking this movement is for everybody
is ignorant and has caused people to feel unseen, unheard and unwelcome

 

this needs to change
now

 

 i am working towards inclusion for all
listening, learning and responding
it is not a quick fix
it’s a long road

 

one i’m committed to
to support the teachers, teachers in training, staff, and students of misfitstudio
to eliminate harm in the future and
make meaningful and authentic repair

 

with humility
this is a beginning
planting new seeds
i am doing the work

 

– Amber J

 

Below are the actions MISFITSTUDIO is committed to, in our unwavering dedication to anti-racism:

  • Listen to, collaborate with and uplift our POC employees to ensure that they feel heard, supported and seen, not just now but indefinitely
  • Commit to practicing anti-racism as part of our team and studio’s core values; integrating this into everything we touch, say and do 
  • Diversify MISFITSTUDIO staff, leadership, teachers and students in an authentic and meaningful way to ensure we always have a BIPOC perspective with everything we do 
  • Review our marketing strategy, our approach to studio promotion, and our representation of our studio to include true diversity of people, body types and genders, in an effort to make our space feel undeniably welcoming to everybody, regardless of race, body type, gender or sexuality
  • Support Black creators by offering ongoing workshops, merchandise, photography and music produced by BIPOC 
  • Implement changes in how we run a studio that can inspire the wellness industry as a whole to be a truly inclusive space 

We acknowledge that this is indefinite work and we are embarking on a journey that is going to take time, dedication and persistence. We know we are going to make mistakes, and we have quickly learned that to be anti-racist means saying something and getting corrected, versus being silent and consequently contributing to oppression. We trust and encourage our community, staff, teachers and followers will hold us accountable. We are here for your feedback and suggestions, always. 

A glimpse at our immediate plan

  • In order to give voice to the Black Lives Matter movement, we are ceasing to post any content that does not support this initiative for the foreseeable future, instead focusing our content on resources, information, or changes that we are making that #amplifymelanatedvoices 
  • We have created a weekly class in support of Black, Indigineous and People of Colour. All proceeds from these classes are donated to an initiative supporting BIPOC that has been selected by the Teacher through their own exploration and commitment to anti-racism work These classes are free for all Black, Indigenous and People of Colour to join and MISFITSTUDIO will include a donation on behalf of all BIPOC participants
  • We have created, and will continue to add to, a resource guide for all to learn from 
  • We are in the process of researching Black creatives we can support and collaborate with – whether it be through photography, workshops, events or merchandise 

Our commitment to ongoing, long-term change

  • For the last two years as a part of MISFITSTUDIO’s Teacher Training program, we have offered multiple scholarships for BIPOC and will continue to add to this program and make this more widely visible
  • We are updating our Continuing Education Program for Teachers, to provide resources, support, and programming to review and update the ways in which we cue movement so that it speaks to all 
  • We are in the process of doing a full review and update to our pricing structure so that we can provide accessible movement classes for all
  • We are looking to see how we can create more physical accessible space at our physical studios

These are the things we’ve completed or that are in motion for education & development of our employees:

  • We are currently in conversation with Robin Lacambra of GoodBodyFeel. Robin has created a course called Sharing Privilege and this training course has been mandated to the Management team as well as all Teachers of MISFITSTUDIO. Teachers and Management will also have coaching calls with Robin in the upcoming month
  • As a part of the Sharing Privilege program donations have been made to Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, Black Legal Action Centre, Educator and Activist Rachel Ricketts
  • Diversity and inclusion training will also become a learning module in our Teacher Training program
  • All Teachers and management are joining in circle to read Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad and complete the workbook. We’ll collaborate and share ideas and learnings from this work that can be implemented and shared transparently
  • Our teachers are committed to meeting weekly to have an open dialogue around anti-racism 

Farewells

Longtime teachers Natalie Matias and Rachel McLean have decided to part ways with MISFITSTUDIO. We respect and honour their decisions to step away from teaching and wish them all the best in their personal journeys. 

Complimentary BIPOC classes

Renelyn Quinicot and Dee de Lara will be offering their classes free to BIPOC – those who identify as BIPOC can you e-mail thelowdown@misfitstudio.com and we will add you into your class of choice.

This global awakening has revealed a lot to us and about us; what we know for sure is that we are committed to a new way, a new path, that is going to affect us as individuals and a business as a whole. We welcome this opportunity to evolve, leaning into change with tenderness, dedication, strength and grace. This is a revolution, and we are here for it. Black Lives Matter.

 

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