Saturday, June 13th Outdoor Class
"We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity" -Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Given the current political climate, state of social unrest and upheaval, and general sense of uncertainty we are all experiencing, I wanted to make it clear just how important all of you are to me and to specifically offer my black friends and clients my support and love.
I chose the Bryan Stevenson quotation above because it acknowledges our failings while still offering hope. In fact, it makes it clear that the act of that acknowledgment is the basis for moving towards improvement.
Systemic racism is a reality in this country. Those in our black communities have been fighting it for 400 years. It did not end during the Civil Rights era. It shifted. It hid. And many of us embraced that phenomenon. The more hidden it is, the easier it is to avoid. Or deny. That has to stop. It seems so basic and easy to say, but it must be said. Black lives matter.
The brutal, public killing of George Floyd by a police officer with the full knowledge that it was being filmed with the support of his fellow officers seems to have become an inflection point for many of us in understanding and acknowledging systemic racism. For our black friends, colleagues, and neighbors- while tremendously painful to witness- it was not in the least bit eye-opening. I want to state clearly for each and every one of you that I support you and am with you. It seems like the least we can do to reject racism and the attendant violence and pain that accompanies it, but I do- on both a professional and personal level.
As we all figure out ways to effect change (and there are many), I thought it was fitting to support EJI, the organization Bryan Stevenson founded and runs which has the goal of ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting the basic human rights of the most vulnerable people in American society. It is an amazing organization. You can learn more about it (and donate)here: https://support.eji.org/give/153413/#!/donation/checkout
We must gather strength and support from each other. My goals as a fitness instructor align perfectly with that sentiment. And just as fitness is something we work on every day, so is justice, equity, and love. Let's exercise those muscles together!
This Saturday, June 13th, all outdoor classes will do a workout to honor Black Lives Matter. There is a $25 suggested donation, with all the proceeds going to EJI.