Anti-Oppression Statement: Our Commitments & Practices
We have written this statement because we want you to know our values and practices so you can feel informed, think about whether our work fits for you, and choose what’s best from a place of connection and resonance. This statement includes information about us, our positionality, our commitment to anti-oppression work, racial justice and equity, our teachers and lineage, and the business practices we’ve implemented to mitigate inequity. We consider this to be a living document, as we are ongoing learners, listeners, vulnerable community members, and whole-hearted human beings who are highly fallible and always growing.
We have co-owned Be Nourished since 2006. We do this work with the unearned privileges extended to us as white, cis, able-bodied, educated, middle class women of average and small fat size. We are committed to examining and re-examining the ways we offer and develop our work over time. We push ourselves to be actively anti-racist as clinicians and business owners, and since 2015, we have been actively working to dismantle the ways white supremacy culture shows up in our organization.
Be Nourished promotes diversity and inclusion as a core value in our work. We recognize all types of diversity including and not limited to size, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, citizenship status, religion and abilities. As a company, we welcome the ways this diversity will deepen our shared understanding of the applications of this work. We celebrate and honor the strength, creativity and power that comes from experiencing different viewpoints, backgrounds and cultures.
We read, listen to, learn from, and attend workshops with Black teachers. We seek ongoing training and consultation with equity and inclusion facilitators, and are continually working to make our offerings and business as inclusive as possible. We see this as a long-term commitment and process which unfolds at the speed of relationship and under the guidance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) consultation.
Body Trust® is heavily informed by social justice movements and has been greatly influenced by Niva Piran’s Developmental Theory of Embodiment, Bobbie Haro’s Cycle of Socialization and Cycle of Liberation, adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism, Black Feminist Theory (Audre Lorde, bell hooks), Desiree Adaway’s Liberatory Praxis, Barbara Love’s Liberatory Consciousness, The Fat Underground, the Health at Every Size® movement, intuitive eating principles, shame resilience theory, motivational interviewing, self-compassion theory, relational-cultural theory, mindfulness-based approaches, and post-modern therapeutic thought. We have spent 15+ years together learning, teaching and fine-tuning our approach. We are committed to maintaining a lifelong learning posture. We consider this essential to doing the work we do at Be Nourished.
Body Trust is relational work and our teaching style follows suit. Our facilitation is always evolving as well as our collaborations with co-facilitators and co-creators. We prioritize helping people understand the oppressive structural roots of diet culture and weight-centric models of healthcare but we are not equity and inclusion facilitators, nor are we anti-racism educators. We don’t believe that one can do this healing work without a social justice analysis and we are committed to help people develop theirs and get connected to resources to help them further their journey.
Our intention is to hold space and offer experiences to help mitigate the impact the culture has on you when it doesn’t mirror your wholeness. We see and know how oppression and discrimination, as well as the furthering of the thin, cis, white, able-bodied ideal, has created conditions that repeatedly reinforce trauma, shame and self-blame, and separate people from their bodies and their own knowing, voice and truth.
Our workshops, retreats and trainings are often white-dominant spaces though we are committed to including as diverse a representation of people as possible. We acknowledge the potential for harm to occur in multiracial spaces, therefore we co-create a container for maintaining an inclusive space, and provide education and guidelines regarding conflict, microaggressions, and giving/receiving feedback. We encourage all participants to investigate/name identities and intersections. We aim to decenter our own identities while centering lived experience as much as possible. We invite and pay speakers and contributors with marginalized identities, and we amplify the work of marginalized voices in our curriculum and resources.
Our learning is not always sufficient and our dominant identities, including whiteness, betray us. We have caused harm and we can not be immune from doing so again. When we cause harm, we engage an accountability process with the parties harmed and an independent teacher and work towards repair (when possible).
Additional anti-oppressive practices we’ve committed to:
We live and work on the unceded land of the Cowlitz and Clackamas people. We grapple with what it means to live here as settlers - and thus uninvited residents - and acknowledge that our presence here impedes a way of life. We are committed to justice and restitution for indigenous people and beginning in 2020, we plan to “pay the rent” by giving 1% of our income to local organizations including the Native American Youth and Family Center.
We participate in accountability groups with other colleagues to ensure we are true to our values, this statement, and our commitments to growth and change.
As a practice, we offer employees reimbursement for ongoing anti-racism and anti-oppression training. We pay our consultants, colleagues, guest speakers and co-facilitators for their labor and collaboration. We prioritize ordering services, such as catering, from BIPOC owned businesses in Portland.
Be Nourished embodies values, policies and practices to create access to the resources we offer. We acknowledge the systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and we are committed to dismantling these systems. Black, Indigienous and People of Color, trans and non-binary folks, queer people, super and inifinifat folks, and people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by barriers to healthcare and wellness services due to systemic and institutionalized systems. We wish to push back against this impact with equity pricing (available by request). Clients who can pay full price for our services create the capacity for others to access support, and everyone’s needs are met.
We are committed to making our work as accessible as possible for people with disabilities. We strive to make all of our content screen-reader friendly and include closed captions and/or transcripts for every video we make. And we will be implementing a Disability Accommodations form for all programs.
We invite and pay speakers and contributors with marginalized identities, and we amplify the work of marginalized voices in our curriculum and resources.
We pay DEI and anti-racist practitioners to evaluate new programs we create and to do on-going accountability work with us.
We have created a Body Trust Fund and 75% of the proceeds from our online store go into this fund. People in our workshops, retreats, and trainings can request monies from this fund to purchase books to support their divestment from diet and white supremacy culture.
We appreciate you taking time to read this statement. We do not expect or believe we are the right teachers for everyone, and we are interested in supporting you to find teachers who do work best for you. We maintain a list of teachers and clinicians who hold marginalized identities which we are happy to email to you upon request.