5 Platforms Cultivating More Diversity and Inclusion in Fitness

A few weeks ago, I wrote “Why The Health and Fitness Industry Needs to Focus on Diversity,” and gave you the reasons why the health and fitness industry lacks diversity. Now, I want to provide you with the resources to achieve a more inclusive environment. When looking for informed, in-depth advice, these platforms all have an array of resources at hand.

From coining the term toxic fitness culture to hosting webinars to teach other professionals how to be more inclusive, I found these platforms very informative. To be better, you have to take actionable steps to unlearn unconscious bias. If you want experienced resources to improve diversity in your wellness space, I suggest you check out these five content educators.

The Commando Fitness Collective

The commando fitness collective was created by Sonja R. Price Herbet, a pilates instructor, who created the black girl’s pilates platform. The self-described “Angela Davis” of fitness, Sonja, is committed to improving black female representation in health and wellness. Check out Sonja’s webinars for fitness professionals to engage in anti-racism.

Decolonizing Fitness

Decolonizing fitness is a platform that promotes the decolonization of fitness through education. It seeks to reimagine fitness as more inclusive and less toxic. They provide affordable trans and disability-friendly health and wellness services for all body types. One of the main things that drew me to this platform was Ila Parkers’ definition of toxic fitness culture.

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“What is Toxic Fitness Culture — Social characteristics, language and habits that promote/reinforce ableism, fatphobia, racism, classism, elitism, body shaming/policing, LGBTQIA+ hatred under the guise of fitness and wellness. — Toxic fitness culture relies on two distinct groups to be situated on opposite ends of the fitness spectrum. One group consists of the able bodied, thin/toned, (edit: conventionally) attractive, young, cisgender, heterosexual people who are assumed to be the gatekeepers of what it means to engage appropriately in & embody fitness. — The other group consists of folks who carry marginalized identities that drastically remove their bodily agency limiting them from accessing fitness in ways that meet their needs and feel supportive to them. — Toxic fitness culture is rooted in white supremacist ideals regarding health, ability, size, gender, age and beauty. Toxic fitness culture and diet culture are intertwined, with both placing blame on an individual for the ways their body shows up in this world.”

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The Inclusive Fit

According to inclusive fit they believe, “that fitness should be equal parts productivity and inclusion.” It was created by fitness instructors for other instructors of diverse backgrounds as a space for collaboration and promotion. This platform is all for breaking down the wall of homogeneity in the fitness industry. Join the community that provides a safe space for all.

Inclusive Therapists

With all of the chaos going on around us, it is essential to protect our mental health. Seeking therapy is a necessary need for members of communities that deal with inequalities daily. According to inclusive therapists, “All identities in all bodies deserve equal access to quality, culturally responsive care.”  This resource is to help you find the tools you need to feel heard by your therapist. Find someone who understands and advocates for you.

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The Inclusive Therapists community has grown very quickly over the past few weeks. We're so happy to have you all join our movement to create a safer, simpler way to find mental health care. With all the new faces, we want to introduce you to the team who makes it all happen. ?✨ . Melody @melodyhopeli is a queer, colony-born immigrant, therapist of Color and mental health justice activist. She is committed to disrupting, dismantling, and decolonizing oppressive systems and practices in the mental health field. She extends racial trauma healing, and organizes and supports the Inclusive Therapists community. Natalia @rebelinbloom is a queer, Latinx therapist who helps others overcome experiences of trauma and reclaim their personal power. Working with Inclusive Therapists allows her to contribute to the restoration of power to marginalized people on a collective level. Ebony Butler, PhD, @drebonyonline a native of Mississippi, is a Licensed Psychologist and Food Relationship Strategist who has made it her mission to help women of color heal and thrive in the areas of trauma and diet recovery. Dr. Ebony specializes in guiding women to develop skills that increase their effectiveness in interpersonal interactions, including communication and asking for/ getting what they want and need. Ryan @theopenbookchat is a queer, sex positive, mental health therapist dedicated to serving all realms of the queer and sex positive communities. They connect and collaborate with other dedicated professionals to provide care for all identities. Joyce @joycekabob is a young creative and entrepreneur that is dedicated to serving underrepresented communities. She is committed to using her creativity to advocate for the mental health justice movement as a part of Inclusive Therapists. . . . . . #inclusivetherapists #decolonizementalhealth #decolonizetherapy #mentalhealthawareness #inclusionmatters #inclusivity #socialjustice #racialjustice #genderjustice #sexualjustice #disabilityjustice #intersectionality #diversity #equity #decolonize #lgbtq  #nonbinary #queer #transgender #BIPOC #peopleofcolor #neurodiversity

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Chrissy King

Chrissy King is a fitness coach that educates wellness professionals on anti-racism. She even has a crash course on the subject that you should take! I love how she promotes body positivity in health and wellness because fitness does not correlate with thinness.

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**THE REPLAY IS AVAILABLE** ⠀ Over the past few weeks, I hosted 6 sessions of Anti-Racism for Wellness Professionals. Since then, I have been inundated with requests to host another class. I don’t have any plans to do the training live again for quite some time, but I do want everyone to have access to the webinar. ⠀ That being said, the replay is available for purchase. It’s jam packed with 2 hours of education and 45 minutes of Q&A. I know that people prefer live webinars, but I promise you will learn a ton from the replay and find it beneficial. ⠀ Here’s what we cover in the course: ⠀ 1) Examining white supremacy, racism, and bias in your own life and the ways in which you are being complicit ⠀ 2) How to actively hold yourself and the fitness and wellness industry accountable and how to make it a space that demands justice for ALL bodies ⠀ 3) How to leverage our privilege to create actual change within the fitness industry ⠀ 4) Resources to educate yourself on the intersection of racism and wellness ⠀ 5) How to show up better and embody anti-racism practices year round, not just when it’s prominent in the news and media ⠀ The webinar will make you uncomfortable. We discuss hard things. Confronting racism is never easy. However, systemic racism and its aftereffects have a profound effect on the health of BIPOC. Unless your goal as a wellness practitioner is only to help white people, you can’t ignore the impact of racism on health. If you're a part of the wellness industry in any capacity, you need to do this work. It’s 100% necessary. ⠀ Swipe to read some feedback from people who took the course and then head to the link in my bio to purchase the replay. ⠀ For those who took the live webinar, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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The Bottom Line

Although these are just a few examples of the vast amounts of education out there, I can’t do all of the work for you. Use these platforms as a starting point for your journey to dismantle limiting behaviors in health and wellness. I am sure these platforms will lead you to others.

Diversity and inclusion in the health and wellness space is more than just a race issue. We have to break down the stereotype that being fit and healthy is for one group of people. Negative behaviors towards those who are marginalized, do not belong in health and wellness.

To My Health and Wellness Pros:

Your mission should focus on making people better and not adding to their stress. It is up to you as professionals to seek the proper training and tools necessary to tackle the issues of all that come through your doors.  If that is something you are not interested in, then why are you promoting health and wellness? 

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