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An Open Letter to Our Community

June 15th, 2020

To our guests who are listening and growing alongside us, please remember -- impact over intention.

We need you with us now, 6 months from now, and into the future consistently trying to do better and be better.

Let’s get started by supporting the work that our BIPOC communities are already doing and have been doing for centuries. Not stifle their voices with ours. A lot of this work happens offline. We invite you to dive deep with us.

Thank you to our community who have stepped into difficult conversations with us these past two weeks. Who have invited us to do better. Who have shared resources with us. We appreciate you.

We chose to speak out against racial injustice on June 1st because we cannot and will not remain silent. We want it to be crystal clear where we stand, and feel it is our responsibility to use our privilege and platform to speak out against it, and in solidarity with the BIPOC community.

We have been very open that there is more work to be done. We want you to know that we remain deeply committed to this education and conversation. After taking the past couple of weeks to dive deeper into our education, we have learned that impact over intention is an extremely important element in the fight against racial injustice.

Some of you have asked for an action plan, and we know there are others who have released them. We support them if that’s what’s right for them. What feels right for us is to create long lasting change, supported by actions that are truly acting in allyship with the people and communities we want to feel welcome in our spaces.

For us this means making sure we are pausing and doing the work first.

This means more learning, reflecting and consulting a variety of inclusion experts to ensure that the actions we are taking are not unintentionally or inadvertently causing more harm.

We recognize that the work we started two years ago with our social impact program (which includes monetary donations, free use of our space and equipment, mat donations, marketing and vendor partnerships, and photo and video representation of our community) is simply not enough. We don’t feel right adding further actions to this program without first inviting ourselves to do the work to understand what is going to create real change and have a true impact.

We also recognize that our studios are just starting to reopen and that COVID has had some very serious impacts on us; we need to simultaneously ensure the sustainability of YYOGA so we can continue to have a platform to do this important work. We continue to work around the clock to offer you safe spaces to practice.

We want to be clear that this does not mean we will be silent. As we continue with this learning wholeheartedly, we will continue to amplify the voices of POC and provide education, including in our social content. We may not always get this right, but we’d rather learn by trying than stay silent. To the POC in our community who have reached out to us to partner, we cannot thank you enough. We are so grateful for you.

Where do we go from here? We must do more. The time is now to do the work.

Thank you for understanding that real change is a marathon, not a sprint. We need voices like yours continuing to hold us, and others, accountable along the way. We love and appreciate you.

We are sorry we haven’t stepped into this in all of the ways that we have needed to.

What we know we can do, though, is embrace these difficult conversations and we do so wholeheartedly. Thank you for your grace, and for educating us. 

We know we are stronger together. We are eager to get started.

We look forward to updating you on our progress in the coming months -- and even better, showing you.

With love,

YYOGA


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