To Be Clear
Black Lives Matter.
White Supremacy is real.
The history of slavery is still alive today.
White society has accepted violence against black bodies by default.
While people of color work at Union, the founders are cis, white, hetero males and we need to do more.
These truths in our consciousness and bodies in the street demonstrate hope that things are changing, but hope is not enough. Even if this balance has changed, it is tenuous and slight. We must all work, with diligence, to forcefully tear down not just the statues that line our streets but the internal patterns of white supremacy that shape our behavior. We all must practice.
Before we acted, we listened. We spoke to organizations on Union and reached out to BIPOC organizations in our communities. At the advice of Octavia Raheem
, a black yoga teacher, author, studio owner, and entrepreneur based in Atlanta, we began working with the Liberatory Consciousness Framework, created by Barbara J. Love
and found it to be a clear and purposeful tool for analysis and action.
"...the development and practice of a liberatory consciousness is neither mysterious or difficult, static nor fixed, or something that some people have and others do not. It is to be continually practiced event by event, each time we are faced with a situation in which oppression or internalized oppression is evident. These labels remind us that every human can acquire the skill to become a liberation worker."
Yoga is the practice of aligning body and mind and finding your dharma. Overcoming white supremacy and developing a liberatory consciousness is also a practice, but just like asana and pranayama, it takes dedication, daily effort, and a continuing drive to find and serve yourself and others.
What we are doing
Our first step is to announce the Balance Yoga Project. The mission of this project is to enable 20 yoga studios/communities owned and operated by BIPOC to thrive during the COVID-19 epidemic and beyond.
Members will receive:
- The Union software with platform fees waived (credit card processing and streaming fees are beyond our control and still apply)
- Business consulting (by Andrew Tanner, who wrote the book on how to run a Yoga Studio, and now consults hundreds of wellness businesses transition to online in his role at Union)
- Tech consulting around how to deliver great online classes from Union engineers
- A Mentorship network with other Union owners
- A monthly video conference with all members of Balance Yoga Project and special guest leaders from the yoga and business worlds
- Free Yoga Mats for their teaching community from Give Back Yoga's mat grant program.
At this time applications for the Balance Yoga Project are now closed. Please look out for announcements and updates coming soon!
And please, send me your feedback. While I’m sure there are many things we’re not getting right in our mindset, approach, or actions, please know we are committed to the practice of overcoming white supremacy and will take your feedback to better serve our community.