Kidding Around Yoga Justice Information
Company Justice Statement
We stand with you, our Black family. At Kidding Around Yoga, we are a worldwide multicultural community committed to bringing the teaching of yoga to children and families worldwide. Our aspirations have always been to treat all humans with dignity, respect and care. We recognize that aspirations and intentions are different from impact. Our good intentions have not diminished the impact of our lack of understanding. We acknowledge the harm experienced by Black people and people of color within our organization. We have been blind to the ways in which white supremacy culture has been at play within our materials, structures and communications. We are deeply humbled and saddened to start to realize the extent to which BIPOC have been harmed, undersupported, ignored, dismissed, asked to perform emotional labor for free, and otherwise not held in the ways we aspire to hold everyone. We appreciate those who continued to point out to us our blindspots, even when we failed to listen or honor the wisdom they were bringing. We apologize. We know it is not enough. We are committing to strengthening our anti-racist actions, to continue looking deeper into our structures and personal biases, and to make ongoing changes to embody the teachings of yoga.
This is a time to wake up, to speak up, to stand up. This is a time to fight for what is right and educate those who are still in the dark. Every Black life matters. We all recognize that these are not new issues, but this IS a new opportunity to be allies and agents of change, in large and small ways. Let us not hide from this challenge or wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting. We each have a voice and a responsibility to fight for a better, more just and peaceful world. Join us as we listen, as we learn, as we change, and as we do what we do best: share the ancient and powerful practice of yoga and meditation with children across the globe.
In addition to the ways in which KAY supports bringing yoga to all children, we specifically recognize and commit to the following:
► Our materials and content need to be reviewed and updated. Some existing content contains ideas or themes rooted in racist structures we are now becoming aware of. These have caused harm and discrimination, and we are committed to a thorough review and action steps. We will give updates as to our actions regarding these materials.
► We also recognize that we have not fully understood what cultural appropriation of yoga looks like. We understand that, in certain instances, we have used yoga in a way that has diminished its roots and caused harm to the culture from which it arises. We are undergoing a deep review of our materials and marketing, in this light, and will give updates as to our actions as a result of this review.
► We also recognize that asking our Black teachers to share what they are doing to guide themselves through these “trying times” was felt as insensitive by many teachers. It was not our intention to cause harm in this way, but we understand how this is emotional labor, and that teachers need to be compensated for this. We will compensate any teachers we call upon to support us in this process.
► We acknowledge the lack of Black leadership within KAY, and are actively expanding the leadership team to include and elevate Black wisdom and voices. This week, we are delighted to welcome Shawandra Ford and Camelia Brown onto the leadership team. We will continue to expand our team in the coming weeks.
► We are revamping our KAY4ALL training to include specific anti-racist training. We will make it mandatory and included for all trainees and trainers. Meanwhile, KAY Leadership is undergoing anti-racist trainings themselves, which will be ongoing.
► We are in the process of allocating resources to support scholarships for BIPOC trainees, to fund classes in underserved communities, and to offer financial support to organizations upholding anti-racism and helping make yoga accessible and available to BIPOC families.
In order to move forward and accomplish the mandates listed above, we have created a Justice Task Force. The JTF will identify and implement the changes needed within KAY. The JTF consists of seasoned and new team leaders committed to serving to create an anti-racist culture within our organization.
We will be adding tasks to the list, as we grow and evolve in our understanding of what needs to be done. We hope you will join us in doing this work in your own lives.
We are open to feedback, but we understand that it is no one’s job but ours to look, to learn, to digest, and to take action. We stand by our commitment to become an anti-racist organization whose work uplifts, supports and learns from Black wisdom and leadership.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to reach out to us in regard to this statement, whether it’s feedback, an offer to join our efforts, or you want to be kept up to date with these promises.
Justice Task Force Updates
11 August 2020
The Justice Task Force has taken some initial steps as outlined in our earlier statement.
– The Justice Task Force has met as a full group 2 times. The first was to establish 4 subcommittees and to clarify our work. These subcommittees were formed in the areas of Content Review, Training, Scholarships, and Community Outreach. The second Justice Task Force Meeting was for subcommittees to report on their mission statements and work.
Content Review Updates:
- The Content Review Subcommittee has reviewed all of the specific items that were pointed out to us in comments and emails, and is in the process of initiating changes.
- A document with updates was posted in the KAY teachers forum.
- An email with updates will go out to KAY Teachers in August.
- Full audits of materials are underway.
- The first Facebook Live explaining the changes to KAY teachers is in the teachers forum.
Team KAY Training
- Team KAY members either attended or watched Responding to Racism: A Spiritual Perspective led by Rev. Kamala Itzel Hayward, a KAY teacher, and her colleague Mazin Jamal. They also answered the series of questions posited in this training.
- Team KAY members either attended or will watch the recording of a Diversity Education training offered by Dr. Jennifer Eastman, KAY teacher.
- There will be continuing quarterly trainings for Team KAY.
- Team KAY members have been asked to engage in self-study and education and were provided with a list of resources to draw from.
Training for KAY Teachers
- Rev. Kamala Itzel Hayward did a Facebook Live talk and discussion for all KAY Teachers on answering the question “How can I bring more Black and brown bodies into my KAY classes?”
- KAY hosted a Live Virtual Discussion for KAY Teachers on Cultural Appropriation.
We are planning another training in September for all KAY teachers: Privilege & Oppression in the Yoga World: What Are We Going to Do about It? which will be facilitated by KAY teacher Pooja Virani
- KAY4ALL was made available to all KAY teachers, either for free, or for a donation towards the KAY Scholarship Fund.
- KAY will continue to share educational resources with KAY teachers.
- A “Donate $5” button has been added to all course purchases including payment plans through Teachable.
- An option to donate $5 has been added to WooCommerce checkout page for all purchases that go through the main website.
- Proceeds from September’s workshop will go toward the KAY Scholarship Fund
- All proceeds from KAY4ALL will now go to the Scholarship Fund
- Discussions around a KAYDAY fundraiser are in the works
- T-shirt being designed – proceeds will go to the Scholarship Fund.
- Currently ideas are in the hands of a graphic designer who has done other work for KAY
Community Outreach Updates:
- Several Pilot programs are in progress. Based on what is learned from these programs, KAY will develop resources for supporting communities and individuals wishing to bring KAY to children.