I have been holding off on sending out a message, not because it isn’t something I feel strongly about, but because I didn’t want to make a blanket statement that seemed empty or meaningless. I wanted to learn more about what we can do as a studio and as individuals to help facilitate change.
One of the most important things to me when I opened this studio was that everybody – every gender, size, age and color – would feel safe and welcome. From day one, everyone at the studio was expected to be accepting and tolerant, and I feel very proud of the community that has evolved.
That said, I realize there is more to do. I have been trying to educate myself on the black experience and racism, and what I can do to be more inclusive, proactive and an ally of the black community. I am horrified by the blatant racism being encouraged and exhibited by so many citizens of this country. We need to listen to black voices and put people in power that will support their well being and safety. Big systemic change needs to happen, but we can all do smaller things on an individual level to help get there. All of the teachers at Pearl Pilates are passionate about this movement and are taking action in their own way. Some ways are through education, protest, volunteerism, donations, supporting black businesses and having challenging conversations with people who may not understand why this is an important issue that needs to be addressed or that it even exists.
It can be hard for people to sustain the momentum of this movement, especially as we struggle to try to stay safe during a pandemic, but we need to take advantage our current situation and the window for change it provides. We will keep working to educate ourselves and try to eliminate systemic racism, whether it is intentional or because of lack of awareness.
All of us at Pearl Pilates are open to questions and conversations and welcome them. As in movement, change isn’t always comfortable and we are always working on being ok with discomfort when we know it is for the best.