Our Process, Commitments & Practices for Justice, Equity & Inclusion
We have been spending time assessing the ways we will continue to dismantle white supremacy as it moves through and around us and our business.
In response to the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices campaign, as well as to increase transparency, we want to update you about our process, commitments and practices at Be Nourished. This letter will speak to that in some detail, will live on our site as a blog, and be updated regularly as we grow and change.
Many of the primary reasons we do the work we do at Be Nourished is because we are outraged and concerned about the inequities in the eating disorder treatment field and the way this causes further gaslighting, erasure and injury to Black, Indigenous and People of Color as well as trans, gender expansive and fat folks.
We realize we have not always shared how Be Nourished has evolved and changed in recent years, so we want to be clear about what you can expect from us and where we see our business practices going.
An ethical statement has lived on our site since 2015. Part of our process these last few weeks was to change it to an Anti-Oppression Statement: Our Commitments & Actions, update where outdated, and increase the information we share about the operations and accessibility of our work. This document is iterative and will be updated annually, at a minimum, but definitely when we make changes to our business structure, operations, and practices. We encourage you to read the statement to learn more 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.
In short form, here are some of the things we have done, implemented or created in the last three years with equitable community and justice in mind:
Equity pricing is available by request for all of our offerings. To date, close to 200 people have received equity pricing for our programs. A minimum of five spots in our Certification Training are equity priced, and in most cohorts one-third to half of the 25 participants accepted into the program have received equity based pricing (formerly referred to as scholarships).
We have renamed and revised our Ethical Statement to an Anti-Oppression Statement: Our Commitments & Practices and now have a plan for updating regularly.
We have created the Body Trust® Fund for people in our programs to request financial assistance to access books to help with their divestment from diet and white supremacy culture.
We prioritize purchasing goods and services from Black and Brown owned businesses.
We regularly donate to people and organizations within the eating disorder treatment community who center lived experience.
We pay for and engage in learning from the Adaway Group and Every Level Leads. We regularly participate in offerings with many other teachers. We seek consultation when we have caused harm and engage accountability processes for repair.
We pay all collaborators, speakers and teachers for their work with us.
We’ve made many changes to the Body Trust® Provider Certification program since it began in 2016, but we have not adequately communicated about our process and inner workings outside of our Provider Community (the webpage with program details is currently under construction). This program has evolved significantly over the last three years and we are continually reassessing how to do better. We understand we have much more to do here before Body Trust is a consideration for many clinicians and marginalized communities.
In our Certification Program, we:
Changed our screening process to assess applicants’ dedication and learning regarding oppression and social justice. We require pre-reading on identities, white supremacy culture, fragility, how “small fats crowd the space” (as Caleb Luna says), and more.
Hold a mandatory pre-retreat webinar with Desiree Adaway on identities, dominant culture, the cycle of socialization and liberatory praxis.
Include a recommended reading list with the majority of authors speaking from lived experience about oppression, eating disorders, trauma, healing, and more.
Share articles and links to listen to and learn from marginalized voices.
Recommend anti-oppression teachers and activists to follow and learn from.
Offer a BIPOC breakroom during our in-person kickoff retreat.
Have Cross-Cohort Affinity forums (POC, FAT, QUEER, TRANS, SPANISH LANGUAGE), and we are working on ways to improve this form of connection and communication.
Defined provider values so we can work from shared commitments (and we are considering options for more connection and accountability).
Work to decenter ourselves in the kickoff retreats and bring in a variety of speakers who teach from their professional and lived experience. Recent speakers include Gloria Lucas, Shilo George and Sand Chang.
We have been engaged in a process of changing our business practices and facilitation style with the help of ongoing coaching, mentoring and consultation with Black consultants and others recommended to us by them. We understand the inherent challenge in developing and leading Body Trust as white women. One of the ways we have caused and witnessed harm in our group spaces is by not adequately interrupting or de-centering whiteness. We seek ongoing training and learning as facilitators so we can continue to improve our skills. We will be adding a separate pre-retreat webinar for white folks to learn more about how whiteness shows up in multiracial groups and how to practice growing in right relationship.
As we move ahead, our plans are to survey our Body Trust Provider Community and ask for their input. We are already in conversation about diversifying the leadership in the certification training. We have been developing relationships with providers of color so we can have co-facilitation with a non-white person. We commit to creating these roles in a way that invites true collaboration and partnership in co-creation. We implement slowly and approach our work from a relational place. We aim for our work (and relationships) to feel transformational, not transactional.
Over the next year, we will be contemplating how to integrate more people with marginalized identities as co-facilitators/co-creators in our business in a thoughtful way. We see this next step as necessary and generative. We want our business to have ample space in which folks can contribute with as much of their whole being as possible, as opposed to making rapid decisions that are primarily tokenizing or transactional and ultimately create the potential for more harm.
Everything moves slowly at Be Nourished because we make decisions with our team, our community, and our advisors. Part of our dedication to addressing how white supremacy moves through us as individuals and as an organization is that we won’t recreate urgency here. We will, however, be in relationship and accountable to our community and movement. If you have feedback for us, you are welcome to email us.