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 email@example.com 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
10 November 2020
The Justice Task Force has continued to follow up with our initial steps which are outlined in previous updates.
– The Justice Task Force has met as a full group 4 times now, and Subcommittees have been meeting regularly to accomplish their goals.
Content Review Updates:
- The following Teachable courses have undergone the first round of auditing for changes for justice: OKAY (and all versions of OKAY), EduKAY, KAY in the Home, Teen KAY, and Accessible KAY (A-OKAY). Some of the changes are already reflected in Teachable, and others will be reflected soon.
- The KAY website has been audited and updated to reflect the changes for justice.
- The remaining courses will be audited in time.
- A form has been created for submissions of items that need to be reviewed by the Content Subcommittee. As soon as this form goes live, it will be linked in all courses.
Team KAY Training
- Team KAY members are continuing to engage in self-study and education and were provided with a list of resources to draw from.
Training for KAY Teachers
- The first Virtual Mini Workshop: Yoga through an Antiracist Lense was offered this month, and more are scheduled.
- KAY teacher Pooja Virani presented Privilege & Oppression in the Yoga World: What Are We Going to Do about It?
- The Application to apply for KAY Scholarships has been finalized: https://kiddingaroundyoga.com/kay-scholarship-fund/
- The first dozen people have submitted applications which are under review.
- The review process is being finalized.
- Qualified applicants will be eligible for full or partial training scholarships.
- The “Donate $5” button which was added to all course purchases through Teachable has generated a small amount of income for the KAY Scholarship Fund.
- A private donor made a $150 donation to the Fund.
- Proceeds from Pooja Virani’s workshop went to the KAY Scholarship Fund.
- All proceeds from KAY4ALL continue to go to the Scholarship Fund.
- The Justice T-shirt presale has launched, and all profits from these shirts will be donated to the Scholarship Fund.
Community Outreach Updates:
- A Community fundraiser will be held on April 15th, Haris’ birthday, which we will call KAY Day. All KAY teachers will be invited to teach a class (lesson provided) and donate the proceeds to the Scholarship Fund.
- We are looking into re-launching KAY’s nonprofit sibling, Karma KAY.
- The process for teachers to apply for funds to teach Karma KAY classes is being finalized. More funds are needed to offer this widely.