Black Lives Matter. We have been looking at ourselves, listening to others, and it is crystal clear that as a business we need to do more. It is not enough to simply acknowledge oppression, it is not enough to say that we condemn racism, it is not enough to say #blacklivesmatter. We need to think better, talk better, be better, but most importantly, ACT better. Here are seven steps we are taking (from June 2020) to start this process:
There’s so much to learn.
We will continue to educate ourselves through conversations with black team members, research, and written work. What we know is that we don’t have all the answers yet.
We will make mistakes along the way, but we WILL show up to learn and change as required.
Starting today, we will not just educate our company but the wider community and the wider fitness industry.
It starts with increasing the diversity of people in our teams.
We will hire Black People, People of Color, and Women until they represent over 50 percent of our board and senior team.
We will increase racial diversity across our creative teams, TAP teams, and global instructor teams.
We will not stop until we get it right.
3. MASTERCLASS FILMING
Center-stage representation matters.
All future masterclass filming from now forward will be diverse where over 50 percent of presenters will be represented by Black People and People of Color. We believe that diversity in the spotlight is essential to encourage those who don’t feel there is a place for them in this industry.
Update: In our September 2020 round of filming, Black People and People of Color represent more than 50% of presenters.
Whitewashing is rampant in the fitness industry.
Our campaigns moving forward will have Black People and People of Color representing a majority of the talent.
Update: In our marketing shoot in September 2020, Black People and People of Color represent the majority of talent.
5. CODE OF CONDUCT
Everyone is accountable.
Within 30 days from 10 June 2020, we overhauled our company-wide behavioral code of conduct to hold every employee accountable for racist or discriminatory action.
6. MAORI CULTURE
We commit to developing a deeper understanding of Māori culture and to respect the tikanga (correct protocol) when we engage with any aspects of Māori culture in the future.
7. VALUES REVIEW
We are reviewing use of the word ‘Tribe’ in our values. The word ‘Tribe’ is a colonial construct that’s used to marginalize indigenous cultures and its continued use by non-indigenous people causes offence. To be clear, we are not changing our value, we are simply looking for a more appropriate word with the same intent.
We know that, as a movement and a business, we must do so much more to be a driver of change. These are initial steps, which are by no means perfect, but they’re a start. We will continue to educate ourselves and learn from our Black team members, thought leaders, and experts in this area, to help guide us towards meaningful and sustainable change. We welcome all voices on this journey, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions you would like to share, please get in touch by emailing: email@example.com
GROUP X ALLIANCE
At Les Mills, we’re teaming up with industry partners to continue our efforts of meaningful change for racial justice, equity and representation. Read our joint statement and learn more about our alliance.
We hope this education helps grow our understanding, opens our eyes and minds, and starts to create an open conversation and awareness, and lead to meaningful change. You can start with this series of education videos that feature a number of our own teammates sharing some of their own experiences. From there check out a range of podcasts, people to follow, articles, books and videos we are watching to educate ourselves.
LESMILLS TV | Change: Episode 1
Creating insight and understanding of African-American history.
LESMILLS TV | Change: Episode 2
We explore the Civil Rights Movement and continue with how all this history translates into the current fitness industry.
LESMILLS TV | Change: Episode 3
We hear about the individual experiences from Black teammates.
LESMILLS TV | Change: Episode 4
Episode 4: Our 7 commitments and actions.
Features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice.
From the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with Sam Sinyangwe, Kaya Henderson and De’Ara Balenger.
Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?
13TH - NETFLIX
AMERICAN SON - NETFLIX
WHEN THEY SEE US - NETFLIX
THE HATE YOU GIVE - FILM
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE - NETFLIX
JUST MERCY - FILM