George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. The countless other names we may never learn. These senseless killings have united the entire world in outrage. But they’ve also woken us up to just how deeply rooted institutional racism is in our systems, our homes and our places of work. There is no question that we stand in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement, but over the past few weeks, it’s become clear that we must do more than just stand in solidarity. It’s on us to act — and that starts with looking inward.
The hard, simple truth is that we are part of the problem. Only 2% of our employees identify as Black and 35% identify as people of color — numbers that don’t reflect the diverse world around us. It shouldn’t take a global movement for us to acknowledge that ClassPass is a primarily white company in the historically privileged industry of boutique studio fitness and wellness. ClassPass must do better, and as our company’s CEO, I must do better, too.
Addressing systemic racism means addressing the very systems that perpetuate it. This isn’t something we can fix quickly with a single call to action or one-time donation. This is something that requires real, structural change – and we’re committing to that. While we don’t have all the answers, we’re starting by taking action in ways we are uniquely positioned to do so:
- Investing in Black-owned businesses and communities: ClassPass will commit $500,000 towards an Empowerment Fund that supports the expansion of BIPOC-owned fitness and wellness businesses. In addition to creating capital for BIPOC business owners, we will also be evaluating partnership opportunities to help address systemic inequalities and make fitness more accessible to all, including in underserved communities. This isn’t simply our mission — it is unequivocally the right thing to do.
- Showcasing Black-owned businesses: You can now find a list of businesses to support in the homepage of our app and on our blog.
- Encouraging activism: ClassPass has made it easy to connect people to health and wellness experiences — now, we’re using that same technology to aggregate panels, webinars and discussions in support of the Black Lives Matter movement within the app.
- Championing diversity and inclusion: ClassPass will hire a full-time professional to lead our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) strategy, audit our hiring and recruiting practices, implement DEIB training across all levels and encourage transparency. This is something we should have done long ago, regardless of our size and stage.
- Ensuring diverse representation in our brand: ClassPass will revisit and audit our current policies to ensure our brand continues to uphold our commitment to amplify the diverse voices of our community.
- Supporting employee activism: ClassPass has designated Juneteenth (June 19) as an annual paid day of service and social activism for employees around the world.
- Uniting in support of Black Lives Matter: Our next Together We Sweat event will bring together our global community in support of Black-owned businesses and the Black Lives Matter movement. Stay tuned for more details.
This is merely the start. You have my commitment that we’ll continue working to dismantle racism in our company, in the industry and in our communities. We have fallen short for far too long.
Finally, thank you to our community for holding us accountable and for helping us enact change.
Fritz Lanman, CEO