Equity at Autoimmune Wellness
If you’re here for the BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ contact form, you can find it here. This page was last updated in August 2020.
Our tagline at Autoimmune Wellness is “Seeking Health and Building Community.” Pursuing robust individual health while creating strong community networks is how those with autoimmune disease can achieve wellness. However, there are important questions (based on 2017 tweet we once saw) we, as the founders of Autoimmune Wellness, are always asking ourselves:
Who creates and benefits from wellness?
How can we make our wellness community more accessible and inclusive?
With those questions in mind and through our ongoing educational pursuits, we recognize that “wellness creators” and “wellness beneficiaries” are often represented as only being white, heterosexual, cisgender people. Painfully, we acknowledge that those missing from the wellness community are often pushed out based on age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, or nationality. We recognize that structural oppression (i.e. racism, transphobia, sexism, ageism, etc.) and the systemic barriers that come with it prevent many people in marginalized groups from accessing full health and wellness. We believe it is our collective responsibility to engage in the critical thinking and work necessary to dismantle these barriers, which even prevent some in these groups from meeting basic life needs, such as day-to-day safety, (food) security, clean water, employment and housing. We acknowledge that these basic life needs are prerequisites to health and wellness, and to the lifestyles and communities we aim to foster through our businesses.
Commitment to diversity and collaboration is one of the ways we seek to remedy the forms of exclusion and racism that plague our healthcare systems and wellness communities.
Diversity and Collaboration Create Wellness Without Limits
Autoimmune disease is not limited to a particular age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, religion, ethnicity, or perspective. Seeking health and building community shouldn’t be either. We are creating an anti-racist, anti-oppressive and inclusive environment where diversity of all kinds can shine and mutually beneficial collaboration is the norm. When these two things are in place, no person with autoimmune disease is limited in seeking health, and building an inclusive wellness community becomes our source of joy.
We take meaningful, sustained action within our sphere of influence to dismantle systems of oppression that prevent all of us from enjoying full health and wellness. We seek to foster diversity and collaboration in the following ways (as our work grows, so will this list, we are committed to transparent sharing):
1 | We strive to make financial support available for BIPOC seeking to participate in our training programs. One example of that can be found here.
2 | We work to improve our use of anti-racist, anti-oppressive, inclusive language, including making an active effort to eliminate racist, ableist, and overtly gendered words and phrases. Additionally, we work to authentically use images that feature diversity across markers such as race, sexual orientation, ability, and body size in order to build a more welcoming virtual space that reflects the diverse reality of our world.
3 | We intentionally seek out BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ people in the health and wellness space who are interested in collaboration and amplification via our blog, podcast, social media, or other projects.
4 | We ensure that paid contributors to our blog are aligned with our antiracist and inclusive values through signed agreements. We decline participation in professional opportunities that are not clearly aligned with these values.
5 | We are committed to hiring BIPOC women with personal or immediate family experience of autoimmune disease as our team expands.
6 | We incorporate sustained giving to diverse organizations doing socially-just work, specifically BIPOC-owned, into our business plan as a way to shift money into marginalized communities. We commit to an annual review and increase, when possible, in sustained giving. We take similar steps in our individual businesses.
7 | We make it easy for BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ to connect with us to facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration or offer constructive feedback. You can access that contact form here.
8 | We work to address our own racism, knowledge gaps, and other forms of bias by pursuing courses taught by diverse educators, listening to community feedback, and engaging in self-reflection around these topics. We apply these learnings to our business and are willing to be corrected including, through paid consultation with BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ experts on equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression. We are willing to publicly get it wrong on our way to getting it right for everyone.
9 | We strive to make our content accessible to everyone by using image captions on social media and making transcripts available for podcast episodes when possible. All new recipes and blog posts will include alt image tags that are readable by screen readers on our website, and we will continue implementation to our archives in 2021.
In this spirit, we commit to equity.