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BLM - We Stand in Solidarity

This is a time to stand, to take action and to keep our communication open..... a few words from the studio & Adrienne Le Coure.....

We will educate ourselves, we will listen, we will support....

We have been following the recent events across the world news and we stand in solidarity and support with the protesters. We needed time to respond, to gather our thoughts. We watched wide-eyed as people came together, the emotions we have felt and witnessed have been immense. This is a time to stand, to take action, and to keep lines of communication open. We understand that there is a lot of work to be done, on a personal level and within not only our studios but in studios across the country. We can see how underrepresented black people are within the Yoga community both in terms of teachers and students. This is something we feel passionate about changing. This will take time, lots of conversation with the local community and with other Yoga and Pilates Studios. We don't have the answers yet but we are working on them. We will educate ourselves, we will listen, we will support and we will implement the changes that have to be made, we will support all our teachers and students as we all navigate our way...These changes are long overdue. We see you, we hear you, we will stand by you. The Mill Studios Bolton

Adrienne Le Coure - Black Lives Movement

There is no one that has been left untouched by the swirling winds of political tension, uprising and injustice in the past two weeks. Certainly, none has been affected as much as our BIPOC community. My mind will never be able to comprehend the significance of the murder of George Floyd to all BIPOC, but specifically those living within the borders of the United States. His death was one of many  in a long line of gut wrenching tragedies that all illuminate the systemic racism and brutality of our police force. George Floyd was not the first innocent Black man to become a hashtag. Racism in America is not a new issue.


For some miraculous reason, this event has inspired the kind of rage that fuels revolutions. We are seeing a global intolerance of racism dominate the conversation and we are witnessing policy makers scramble to meet our pleas. From my perspective, as someone attending protests, engaging in dialogue and committing to personal anti-racism work, this movement is beautiful. And it is brutal. As Glennon Doyle so eloquently states in “Untamed” it’s ‘brutiful’. Truly.  My heart is breaking. My nights are sleepless. My rage is uncontrolled. I have lashed out numerous times and have been perfectly unapproachable to anyone with a different opinion to me. My actions have often been a vehicle of separation and for that I am sorry. My command that yoga be a place of inclusion and acceptance has been alienating in some ways and I commit to finding more useful and loving ways to approach this issue.

I also stand unequivocally against racism and police brutality. I stand wholeheartedly in support of The Black Lives Movement and with all BIPOC communities.  I am proud that there will be no question about where I stand on this issue. I feel that many of you look to me as a leader and therefore, I feel a responsibility to use my platform to combat racism. Those of you that disagree with me, I hope you keep practicing and I pray this practice opens your heart and mind to true and restorative justice. To those of you with me, I beg of you to be in action at this time.

I have attached a comprehensive document organised by the nonprofit, Missoula Rises. In it you will find ample opportunities to engage in personal anti-racism work and to positively affect those around in the way of justice and equality. I have also enclosed a list of organisations that I suggest donating. In no way is this list comprehensive, but a start.  I think that all of us, regardless of our involvement in the American democracy, have a critical responsibility to educate ourselves, eradicate the influences of racism and white supremacy within ourselves and then set out to  eliminate its influence from society at large. I intend to commit much of the next year to policy change and institutional accountability. I understand that this is a unique privilege that I have the time and education for. For most of us, the revolution will look like self reflection, conversations with friends and family and speaking out against discrimination in all its forms. This work is uncomfortable. It is heartbreaking. And it is utterly essential. We, as a socially conscious community, cannot and will not turn our backs any longer. The time is now. The work is imminent. I am knees deep in the work and happy to share any part of my journey with any of you. I will continue to mess up and do this wrong. But I will continue to try. I will never stop trying. 

No more Love and Light. No more Good Vibes Only. It is time for real substantive and positive peace. The kind that is equally available to all. And we as a yoga community have a profound responsibility to lead the movement. 

I will close with an eloquent and searing truth written by Rev. Martin Luther King that I believe speaks to many white moderates of today.

Letter from Birmingham Jail (ext)

By Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 16 April 1963

"First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season."

Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Anti-Racism Resources for White People-

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/edit?usp=sharing

Opportunities to donate-

Movement for Black Lives organizations and key movement supporters:

  • Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity: BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity) is a national Leadership Training Program designed to help rebuild Black (African-American, Caribbean, African, Afro-Latino) social justice infrastructure in order to organize Black communities more effectively and re-center Black leadership in the U.S. social justice movement.

  • Blackout CollectiveFull service Black direct action collective.

  • Color of Change: ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Our goal is to empower our members - Black Americans and our allies - to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.

  • Dignity and Power Now: Dignity and Power Now (DPN) is a grassroots organization based in Los Angeles that fights for the dignity and power of incarcerated people, their families, and communities.

  • Freedom Inc.Freedom, Inc. engages low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County, WI. We work to end violence against people of color, women, those that non-traditionally gender identify, and our youth, to promote healthy lifestyle.  

  • Organization for Black Struggle: The Organization for Black Struggle was founded in 1980 by activists, students, union organizers and other community members in order to fill a vacuum left by the assaults on the Black Power Movement. Their mission is to build a movement that fights for political empowerment, economic justice and the cultural dignity of the African-American community, especially the Black working class.

  • Project South: Project South is a Southern-based leadership development organization that creates spaces for movement building. We work with communities pushed forward by the struggle– to strengthen leadership and to provide popular political and economic education for personal and social transformation.

  • Southerners on New Ground: Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.

  • UndocuBlack Network: The UndocuBlack Network's mission is to “blackify” the undocumented immigrant narrative in the U.S. and facilitate access to resources for the Black undocumented community.

With Love and Earnestness,

Adrienne

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Namaste