Not only are we in the midst of a pandemic fraught with shifting tides, stress and uncertainty, but we are also under a racism pandemic. The scab has been pulled off of this deep wound, and as conscious business owners we have a responsibility to bear witness, listen, learn and act.
We trust that you too have been grappling with your role in this conversation and navigating your own thoughts and feelings and how to consciously STAND UP for RACIAL EQUITY.
We don’t propose to have all the answers, but we are committed to learning, listening, engaging and acting.
A Reflection from Iman Abdul-Salaam – Personal Trainer at Empower Personalized Fitness
“This past month has been a very difficult time for many people, especially for African-Americans like myself. First with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, then Breonna Taylor and now George Floyd. Being a person of color in this country has always been challenging, but one would think by 2020 it would be or should be easier for us but it isn’t.
Not only are we all in the middle of a pandemic, but my people are consumed with fear, anxiety, and worry every single day because of the injustices that we face in this country simply because of the color of our skin.
I have been consumed with several emotions during this time which changes on a daily basis to sometimes hourly from: anger, sadness, fear, frustration and hopelessness all while expected to get up and do my job as a personal trainer and put on a happy face while training my clients like nothing is wrong when I’m constantly fearful of what may happen to another one of my sisters or brothers again.
The optimist in me would like to believe that the current state of the world will be the beginning of a new day where racial injustice will no longer be tolerated in this country, but the realist in me says that we’ve been here before and this country was built on racism and injustices and systematically put in place to keep us down so why will it change now? How can it change when racism is passed down from older generations to younger generations? What makes this time around different?
I ask myself those questions everyday. In the meantime all I can do is pray for my family, my friends, my father, my boyfriend and those that I love deeply that they all return home safely everyday while hopefully this country can heal from the worst virus of them all...racism.
Resources for Learning and Action:
Building a Culture of Racial Equity & Justice:
Many of us have been taught to shy away from difficult topics and conversations – especially when it comes to our workplaces and how we engage our teams. We challenge you to think critically about your role as a leader and who you are impacting on a daily basis. You are making a difference and your clients, your team and your community are counting on you to take a stand for what is right.
When you continually share your voice and create a culture of inclusivity in your business you can make an even bigger impact in others’ lives. Your culture starts with YOU and the actions you take shape your entire organization.
What actions can you take right now to better yourself and your business?
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." - Arthur Ashe
In 2019, we invested in Racial Equity Training for our entire team and going forward we will send all new team members to this important training.
As business owners we know you are navigating so much right now. Stay strong, keep showing up, keep doing the work you were called to do!
How are you navigating this challenging time? We'd love to hear in the comments or within Wellness Studio Business Owners - a safe space where studio owners can navigate the challenges and celebrate the joys of running a fitness business.
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