LONDON, United Kingdom — A group of fitness studios in the UK and internationally are teaming up for an event aimed at uniting the fitness industry to celebrate black cultures and be a catalyst for change.
#MoveForTheCulture, which takes place on Saturday 20th June, has been created to address the lack of racial diversity and accessibility within the fitness industry, as well as to fundraise for organizations supporting the black community and the fight against racism.
“This is not a fad, a one-off event or marketing ploy,” explains founder of the initiative Ianthe Mellors — a dancer and fitness professional with 10+ years in the industry in the US and UK.
“#MoveForTheCulture is the starting point for companies to support the black community and announce how they plan to make a change.”
By signing up, brands and fitness professionals, pledge to work daily towards long term change within the fitness industry.
The campaign, which has already seen UK-based brands including Gymbox, Barry’s, Frame, The Pilates PT, 1REBEL and Sweaty Betty join, as well as fitness professionals from across the globe, is asking those that want to be involved to
- Post the above picture on their Instagram, and in the caption say what steps they are taking to uphold The Pledge.
- Announce what organisation the proceeds of their classes will be going to.
- Host classes on their platform on 20th June 2020, giving priority to POC teachers if they want to teach.
However, companies that are not able to host classes are still encouraged to join the movement and state what steps they will take to uphold The Pledge.
“Companies put together huge campaigns for PRIDE, and get behind other great causes but never acknowledge or celebrate black history month. Posting a black square with little to no caption is not enough,” Mellors recently wrote in an open letter published on DOSE, detailing her experiences as a woman of colour in the fitness space.
“I started having conversations with brands, studios and other fitness professionals to find out how they felt/what they were doing. It became apparent that lots of people don’t know what to say, where to even start and didn’t want it to seem like a marketing ploy. They genuinely want to do something other than just post a black square or a fundraiser. I came up with an idea to make change happen without anyone shaming or judging anyone because all that matters from here on out is that things change.”
#MoveForTheCulture plans on spearheading that change and keeping the industry accountable for the long-term.