CREATED TO IMPROVE LIFE has always been part of our brand message. Lately, we’ve been using the phrase STRONGER TOGETHER in relation to the recent pandemic that is still affecting each of us. Both of these statements hold a significant amount of meaning for us, but neither mean very much if we don’t also believe or say BLACK LIVES MATTER. We want to be clear on where we stand, the steps we are taking to further evolve, and what we are committed to doing RIGHT NOW.
At B/SPOKE, we have always felt that we are more than just a fitness studio with a strong community. Now, more than ever, we have an opportunity and RESPONSIBILITY to step up as leaders in our industry. It’s not enough to simply say we care about creating a safe and welcoming place that promotes diversity and inclusivity, and it’s definitely not enough to say “CREATED TO IMPROVE LIFE” or “STRONGER TOGETHER.” In order to become better individuals, better organizations, better communities, and in-turn a better world, we want to begin to further practice what we preach about creating and cultivating positivity, inclusivity and a sense of belonging for everyone.
We are distraught about the injustices in the world right now and would like to say loud and clear that BLACK LIVES MATTER. As we look inward, we admit that we are LATE to engage on this topic with both our team and community in a meaningful and consistent way. And while we are passionate about bringing this work to the community, we also think it is important to work from the inside out to ensure our organization is trying to be the best version of itself.
Words are meaningless if they are not coupled with action. In short, what you do IS who you are and we have a responsibility to listen, learn and do something MORE that helps create change. We also understand that this work takes TIME. There is NO quick fix, and instead, it is something that we are looking to weave into WHO WE ARE and everything that we do moving forward as a consistent part of our narrative – from hiring, training and on-boarding to music, retail and events. We see it as a non-negotiable part of our brand and culture.
Effective immediately, we are putting our words and commitments into ACTION. These are some of the initial steps we will be taking as an organization to help us realign:
1. We have established an internal committee focused on diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging as it pertains to every part of our business. This internal committee, now known as the B/SPOKE Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee (DEIB), will be a permanent fixture of our team moving forward.
2. We will be scheduling webinars and workshops with external, expert voices for all staff members aimed at bringing awareness and education to some of the racial issues and injustices our community and country is currently experiencing, and to spark important dialogues.
3. We will be fundraising for various organizations that are in dire need of support and funds, including Black Lives Matter and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In addition, we will be looking to support LOCAL organizations and non-profits within the health, wellness and fitness space.
4. We will be setting up focus groups, both internally and externally, to continue bringing various perspectives and viewpoints to our company and our mission. We want nothing more than to bring YOU and our entire community into this conversation.
5. We are committed to using our platform and our brand to amplify black voices, as well as support black-owned businesses, through events, workshops and speakers, as well as within everyday, in-studio practices and offerings.
6. We will be coordinating regular “town hall meetings,” aimed at updating the team at large, and connecting these issues further to the brand.
While this is a work in progress and we know it is not enough, it’s important for us to acknowledge our responsibility and work toward being part of a solution. We know that our community cares about inclusion, justice, and equity and while change takes time, please know we are committed to both learning and doing more, now and forever onward.
JUNE 8-14: B/SPOKE donated 100% of the proceeds from our LIVE Classes this week to Black Lives Matter & The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund—every single dollar—a total of $11,235.
JUNE 20: B/SPOKE is hosting a special SUMMER SOLSTICE: STRONGER TOGETHER virtual event that is free of charge to attend. We are accepting donations for a local non-profit organization that we respect and admire: InnerCity Weightlifting, and look forward to our continued, long-term relationship.
It is important for us to communicate that these fundraising initiatives are only ONE STEP in the right direction, and we are committed to all of the hard work and necessary change that will follow. We vow to not simply outline this for our community with words, but to show it with action. Let’s get to work.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.