We would like to update our community about our DEI plan’s progress, challenges and next steps.
REFLECT LONDON’S DIVERSITY IN YOGALONDON’S COMMUNITY
OF GRADUATES, STUDENTS, AND THE TEAM
WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR
- Started training the team
We took some time to reflect on the feedback from our community and to educate ourselves on anti-racism, and on the broader issue of intersectionality. As we believe in expert training ourselves, we appointed a DEI consultant, Dr Stacie CC Graham, to support us on our journey. She guided our faculty of teachers and HQ team through self-paced learning, online and a full day in-person, to enable us to better understand intersectional issues across our society and industry. We will keep sharing on this topic, on a semi-formal basis over the coming months.
- Gained a deeper understanding of our community
We believe it is important for us to understand how our community reflects the diversity of the London population; to this extent, we ran a survey covering our graduates, students, team and broader community. We got hundreds of responses, which helped make our sample statistically significant – so thank you. We are now using this data as our start point to measure our progress as we work next year. This will give us a clear measure for whether the work we are doing has an impact or not in 2021.
- Audited our website and other comms channels’ imagery
Whilst we want to authentically reflect our community, we also want to clearly demonstrate that we welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We will continue to feature members of our community in our content, and will update our website regularly when we have new photography of recent graduates.
- Reviewed our recruitment processes and team salary structure
To ensure they were fair and non discriminatory in any way. We also became an accredited Living Wage Employer, a guarantee that we pay our team members a fair salary for their work.
- Agreed to support an industry-wide audit
We signed up to the industry research spearheaded by Hotpod Yoga, to find out more about disparities and injustices in our industry – with a broader sample of respondents. The project was delayed due to the recent national lockdown, but we’re hoping it will restart in Q1 2021.
WHAT WE HAVE STRUGGLED WITH
- Creating new CPDs specifically aimed at targeting unconcious bias and discrimination in yoga
We want our curriculum to truly reflect the needs of under-represented communities, and as such it means appointing trainers that have an in-depth knowledge of these issues. They have been difficult to come by (so if you’re one of them, please get in touch) but we think we will be in a position to deliver this action by the Summer.
- Our aggressive timeline
Our previous action timeline proved totally unattainable… Which even our DEI consultant flagged! We want to be faster in delivering our DEI initiatives, but the honest truth is that we’re a small team balancing the needs of a school and our students during trying times. We need to allow ourselves to take the time to deliver this plan well, as opposed to rushing it.
OUR PLAN FOR 2021
- Focus our support on 2 social justice causes
We’ve asked our faculty of teachers and HQ team, and the causes we have decided to focus on for 2021 are:
– Racial and ethnic discrimination
– Poverty and low income
- Find partners to launch initiatives with
Our DEI plan will be iterative, and we want to appoint two partners, with whom our school resonates, in order to agree what actions need to be taken at our level to best serve the communities we wish to support – for they are their communities, with specific needs and goals. We have ideas, which we will bring to the table – such as creating a bursary programme or increasing access to yoga classes in underserved London communities. But we want to make sure they’re the right ideas. We will update you once we have found these partners, but if you want to suggest any association or charity, please let us know.
- Build towards intersectionality
We recognise that certain individuals face multiple and intersecting forms of structural discrimination, and that here is no singular way of experiencing an injustice. Varied voices and perspectives need to be considered in order to make real, lasting, and equitable change. Throughout this DEI journey and together with our team and partners, we will strive to better understand and consider intersectionality.
Thanks for reading this far, and all the best for 2021!