For the first time in nearly 3 months, the entire Run The Edge team scheduled an in-person meeting and not a Zoom call. While we were thrilled to see each other in person after being separated for so long, our reason for meeting face to face was not a joyous one: we felt we needed to sit down for an important discussion about our roles both as individuals and as a company in the current social justice movement. We sat over six feet apart from each other and began a lengthy and thorough conversation about how best to address the circumstances. The following statement is the combined effort of five individuals who care very deeply:
As white people, we understand that we can never fully understand what it is like to be black in the USA. We understand that there is institutional racism built into our society and justice system, but we will never know how it feels to experience it first hand. We know THAT we don’t know, but we don’t know WHAT we don’t know. We have collectively decided to take both short-term and long-term actions in an effort to listen, learn, and support the eradication of systemic racism within areas we can control.
It is our responsibility to listen more and to learn from the many voices expressing the pain, fear, and anger that have been around far longer than today’s headlines. We believe that black lives matter and that it is our duty to better educate ourselves so we can be certain to create events, challenges, and communities that not only declare inclusivity, but FEEL like safe places to every single one of our participants.
We also recognize that, as a small fitness company, our primary focus has always been on motivating people to move and not being part of specific social movements. We will continue that primary purpose, but behind the scenes, we will also commit to taking several personal actions to broaden our perspectives, inform our actions, and make us a small part of this very needed shift in mindset and societal change.
The Run The Edge team has committed to reading the book, “How To Be An Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi together, and discussing what we learn and how we can grow, both in our personal lives and as a company. We have made a donation to the Black Girls Run Foundation, because we have always been huge fans of what they do, and because it seems fitting to support a group in the running and fitness community. These are short-term actions that will act as a starting point for more sustainable company-wide sensitivity to systemic injustice. In the long term, we will ensure that we actively seek diverse perspectives, examine our privileges, and use our platform for good.
It is not our intention to use our personal growth initiative for any kind of gain or to benefit from a current trend. We simply believe it is our duty to recognize our limitations, find our blind spots, and be a small part of the solution by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. We hope this effort enables us to continue to improve from within and create safe, supportive spaces where everyone is included, challenged, and successful.