Welcome to AMPLIFY, a mini-series by THE TRUE NORTH COLLECTIVE℠ PODCAST, dedicated to highlighting the untold stories of everyday BIPOC fearlessly finding and living their true north amidst the current systemic realities – past, present, and future.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, co-hosts Rachel Bellotti (she/her) and Jenell Riesner (she/her), recognized their own ignorance to the racial atrocities that have plagued history. They chose to use this platform to create a space that centers real stories of genuine authenticity from marginalized communities whom society has attempted to keep silent for far too long.
This series is inspired by the original #amplifymelanatedvoices movement, created by @jessicawilson.msrd and @blackandembodied in June 2020 in an effort to elevate BIPOC voices, listen more deeply, and support anti-racism.
Today, we hear from Ericka Jones (she/her), friend of Rachel’s and founder of Yoga Coalition, an alliance for combined action bringing inclusion, equity, and diversity to the yoga community. Ericka has spent 11+ years as a Diversity + Inclusion professional, collaborating with key stakeholders to develop comprehensive strategies to increase diversity and build and sustain inclusive behaviors. Currently living in Minneapolis, she is a yoga teacher and lululemon ambassador, passionate about bravery and ensuring all people have access to resources that let them thrive. We talk calling out to call people in, deconstructing default realities, subconscious barriers, transformative conversations, diversifying yoga spaces, slowing down to speed up, being a compassionate disruptor, connecting to joy, and taking a leap for change in humxnity.
TAKE ACTION: This episode, we have donated to Yoga Coalition, Ericka’s selected anti-racist cause. We are strongly encouraging our listeners who feel inspired to also donate what you can to support action efforts that empower yoga spaces to be consciously inclusive, equitable, and diverse through education, resources, and tools so that ALL people feel welcomed, represented, and that they have equal access to yoga. Donate here.
*note: this episode includes explicit language appropriate for those ages 16+
3 KEY TAKEAWAYS:
- How can we call someone out in a way that acknowledges where they’re at in their journey and actually calls them IN to the conversation? How can we allow for nuances of accountability that meet individual’s where they’re at and invite them to experience something different versus telling them what is reality? We learn the most and sustain growth the most through experience, so how do we take that into account as we are collectively evolving around racial injustice (and anything, really)?
- Stop trying to already be at the finish line when you are just starting to crawl. When something must shift, we have to learn to slow down to speed up so that we can make effective, sustainable, and impactful change. If we try to be further along than we actually are, then we miss huge parts of the journey that are necessary for real evolution. Ultimately, those seemingly small skips actually turn into major setbacks as we realize that we have built a shotty foundation on unstable ground and it’s a house of cards.
- Are you standing at the puddle in analysis paralysis about what MIGHT/COULD happen or are you jumping over the damn puddle and learning as you go? Keep going. Show up now. Take action. Don’t wait. Brock Armstrong says that action leads to clarity and if we wait for the perfect moment to do anything we miss the moment entirely. What puddle are you ready to jump over, now?
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [3:30] Welcome, Ericka!
- [6:15] Storytelling + learning from people different from you
- [8:00] Going from the most diverse high school in the US to a predominantly white college
- [10:30] Organizational default recruiting + deconstructing the marketing model
- [14:30] Calling someone out to call them IN
- [17:00] Slow down
- [19:45] Clip of a conversation on a bridge in Minneapolis
- [25:20] Transformative conversations
- [28:00] Profiling
- [33:10] Yoga off the mat
- [36:30] The moment of truth + moving the middle
- [40:00] It’s time to jump
- [43:30] Subconscious barriers + self-selecting yourself out
- [45:30] Yoga coalition
- [48:00] Using your voice for action vs destruction
- [53:00] #blackjoymatters
- [59:00] Learning the diversity of black stories
- [1:01:00] How do you live your TRUE NORTH?
- [1:01:45] Reach out to Ericka via IG @ericka.jones_ + check out Yoga Coalition to learn how you can take action to diversify yoga spaces across the world, or support their efforts via donation here.