Skip to main content

The BE's Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

The BE was created to be a safe space for people to do their work, to feel seen, accepted, and respected. The BE’s committed to ensuring that all people, including our BIPOC and LGBQT+ community members, are as comfortable within our walls as anyone else. In policy and in practice we prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, religion, assigned sex at birth, sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, marital, family, or parental status.

We have been asked to do more about the lack of diversity among our staff and clientele. In the past we assumed that if we simply continued driving our mission and vision of inclusivity, that it would eventually result in a colorful community reflecting the world around us. After all, we never considered ourselves to be just a neighborhood studio. We envisioned The BE as a destination for EVERYONE looking for a peaceful, supportive place.

Well, that dream of perfect diversity didn’t magically happen. And so we realized that it was going to require more effort, new ideas, and a greater commitment of resources to create the inclusive BE that we envisioned. To meet the demands of our very own mission statement, we started prioritizing our work on diversity and inclusion.

We are prepared to show up for this work.


BE members will see these external manifestations of our efforts:

We amplify marginalized voices.

We seek out, learn from, and share the perspectives of underrepresented groups in the yoga and mindful movement communities, especially those of local thinkers, teachers, coaches, and activists.

To this end we are actively seeking out and developing new relationships with BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) and other leaders in the yoga and fitness communities of underrepresented groups.

We host groups like UYF’s The People’s Practice and Queer Expressions St. Pete to offer their own programming free of charge.

We partner.

Every month The BE partners with a local organization to benefit and promote their cause. We accept donations at the front desk throughout the month and also offer a free/donation based Sunset Yoga at the Pier, all proceeds of which go to the non-profit of the month.

Our partners in 2024
May
The Kind Mouse

The mission of The Kind Mouse is to assist families in transition and their chronically hungry children. There are over 36,000 children suffering with food insecurity in Pinellas County. There are kids who don’t know where their next meal outside of school will come from. The Kind Mouse believes that everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own homes, and no one should ever go hungry.

April
Purpose Through Passion

We know what it feels like to witness a loved one suffering from addiction. Purpose Through Passion was created to reconnect people in recovery with the recreational activities in life they love and enjoy. Through partnerships with existing rehabilitation facilities and local businesses, we can create better outcomes.

March
Neighborly

Since 1966, Neighborly has been dedicated to improving the lives of older persons in Pinellas County in need of home and community-based services. A champion of seniors, they provide Meals on Wheels, adult day programs, senior dining, and transportation.

February
Friends of Strays

Friends of Strays is St. Petersburg’s oldest no-kill animal shelter. Founded in 1978, their top priority is to connect animals in need of rescue with people who will love them. Through their outreach, advocacy, and services Friends of Strays strives to ensure that animal companionship is accessible to all. In addition to pet adoption, their programs focus on pet retention, community empowerment, and humane pet ownership education.

January
St. Pete Fight Club

St. Pete Fight Team is a 501(c)3 non-profit karate school whose mission is to enrich peoples lives through martial arts. They provide services and sponsorships through its programs, including training for children at or below the poverty level.

Our partners in 2023
December
Children’s Dream Fund

Children’s Dream Fund has been making Dreams come true for seriously ill children in our community since 1981.  From puppies to playgrounds, cruises to computers, vacations in Hawaii to meeting with celebrities, Children’s Dream Fund is there to help create memories that last a lifetime for sick children and their families.

November
Mindful Movement

The mission of Mindful Movement is to serve adults and youth from underserved communities in St. Pete with health information and yoga classes. Our programs focus on and consist of classes that teach beginning and advanced yoga postures, meditation, breathing techniques, and positive affirmations.

October
CASA Pinellas

CASA is the official domestic violence center for Pinellas County and has provided lifesaving services to women, children, and men living with domestic violence for over 40 years.

September
Reach St. Pete

Reach St. Pete is a nonprofit that provides free resources aiming to serve those experiencing homelessness, low-income, and at-risks situations. Their goal is to bridge the gap between people and the resources they need.

August
St. Petersburg Black History Bike Tour

St. Pete’s BHBT aspires to racial equity by educating our residents on local Black history, understanding the source of systemic racism and inspiring each person to make a difference.

July
Girls Rock St. Pete

The mission of Girls Rock St. Pete is to empower women, girls, and gender expansive folk through fearless expression and collaboration to build confidence and leadership skills to transform ourselves and our communities. Statistically, girls begin to lose confidence in the middle school years. We build self-esteem through mentorship and teach girls to be advocates for each other.

June
Queer Expression St. Pete

Queer Expression St. Pete provides liberatory, multigenerational grassroots community spaces for Queer and Trans folks in Florida, where individuals are introduced to the restorative effects of contemplative practices, collective joy, and play as a coping skill. Donated funds allow us to account for things like venue rental fees, craft supplies/other materials, compensation for guest teachers, toys for our “let kids be kids” program, games/crafts for our weekly teen support space, transportation for low-income community members, and so much more.

May
Barbershop Book Club

St. Pete’s Barbershop Book Club recognizes the role of barbers as mentors and incorporates reading and education to foster positive attitudes towards learning and academic success. The nonprofit encourages child literacy by offering free books to kids who read them aloud while getting their hair cut.

April
Tampa Bay Watch

Tampa Bay Watch is dedicated to fostering a healthy Tampa Bay watershed through community driven restoration projects, education programs, and outreach initiatives. Tampa Bay Watch trains and organizes citizen volunteers, students, at-risk youth, and civic organizations to participate in environmental projects while heightening community awareness of the fragile nature and importance of the environment.

March
The FitzLane Project

The FitzLane Project provides funding to underprivileged transgender youth (ages 13-24) in the Greater Tampa Bay Florida area for LGBTQIA+ specialized therapeutic services at the mental health provider of their choice.

February
The Phoenix

The Phoenix’s mission is to build a sober active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection so that together we rise, recover, and live. With over 20 million Americans living with substance use disorder, we’re on a mission to help as many people as we can.

January
Florida Freedom To Read Project

This year the Florida Governor passed HB1467, taking the authority to select public school books out of the hands of librarians and teachers. As a result, a ton of books have been censored and removed from schools across Florida, primarily those with LGBTQ+ content and books that are too honest about racism and slavery. The Florida Freedom to Read Project connects parent organizations across the state of Florida to defend every student’s right to access information and ideas while at school.

Our partners in 2022
December, August, and July
Children’s Dream Fund

Children’s Dream Fund has been making Dreams come true for seriously ill children in our community since 1981.  From puppies to playgrounds, cruises to computers, vacations in Hawaii to meeting with celebrities, Children’s Dream Fund is there to help create memories that last a lifetime for sick children and their families.

November and March
The FitzLane Project

The FitzLane Project provides underprivileged transgender youth in the Greater Tampa Bay community with free access to LGBTQIA+ specialized mental health services at the therapist of their choice. Underprivileged transgender youth are some of the most at risk individuals when it comes to bullying, violence, harassment, and suicide, and having access to these resources could be both life changing and life saving.

October
Maple Tree Cancer Alliance

Maple Tree Cancer Alliance offers individualized 1:1 exercise training for anyone that has had a diagnosis of cancer, from pre-hab, during treatment, and beyond, this is offered at no cost to the patients.

September
The BE Present Fund

For the month of September, we are accepting donations to support the BE Present program, making memberships available to people experiencing financial hardship. At the end of the month The BE will award qualifying applicants with packages for The BE Athletic or The Body Electric Yoga Company. Please contact abby@thebodyelectricyoga.com if you need yoga or mindful fitness but the funds aren’t there!

June
St Pete Free Clinic

St. Pete Free Clinic believes Health is a catalyst for equity. With compassion and respect, St. Pete Free Clinic changes lives by providing health care, nutritious food, recovery housing, and education for our neighbors in need.

May
Girls Rock St. Pete

The mission of Girls Rock St. Pete is to empower women, girls, and gender expansive folk through fearless expression and collaboration to build confidence and leadership skills to transform ourselves and our communities.

April
Care USA

CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. Care USA puts women and girls in the center because they know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. Donations will aid emergency aid (food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly).

February
Purpose Through Passion

Purpose Through Passion is a 501C3 nonprofit organization that provides wrap-around services to the Tampa Bay, FL community.  We support those recovering from addiction by providing funding for recreational activities they may not otherwise be able to afford. Our program spans up to 3 months, allowing each participant to truly immerse themselves in their passions.

January
Brick Street Farms

“At BSF, we’re disrupting traditional ways of agriculture by bringing farm to fork in cities around the globe. Because we believe now is the time to rethink food access, supply chains & climate impact while contributing to healthier lives.” Brick Street Farms produce provides nutritional and medicinal food that has not been compromised by traditional agriculture supply chain issues, grown on site, in one of the most advanced environmentally sustainable arenas in agriculture. Don’t just take our word for it, taste if for yourself.

We give.

We are formalizing our philanthropic efforts, allowing for more transparency and impact, with a focus on improving health equity in St. Pete and beyond. The BE gives via four different avenues:

  • We offer free or discounted services or resources to the general public and to local groups;
  • We offer in-kind donations to local non-profits to be used by their clientele or auctioned for their fundraisers;
  • We make cash contributions and provide paid sponsorships;
  • We participate in fundraising efforts on behalf of charities.

The BE has always been serious about giving what we can to our community, but we are still learning to be strategic and intentional about it.  Examples of what we are doing now through those four avenues include (but are not limited to):

  • Pay-What-You-Can: The BE has always had donation-based and Pay-What-You-Can classes and workshops on the schedule, to lower the barrier of access to health and wellness in our community. In the summer of ’21, The BE also for the first time rolled out a sliding scale membership. These unlimited memberships are applied for via online form and do not require proof of income.
  • Partnerships: We continue partnering with local businesses and the City of St. Pete to provide free and low-cost yoga and mindful fitness classes, in order to break down barriers to entry, expand the reach of wellness, and create greater health equity in our hometown. For years we have offered free monthly yoga classes at Crescent Lake Park and St. Pete Pier. In ’23 we began partnering with the City through their Mind Body program to provide nearly 200 classes per year at 12 city recreation centers to schoolchildren participating in before and/or afterschool care.
  • Donations: collected at monthly Pier events benefit local charities chosen each month that reflect The BE’s vision, mission, and culture. In the past 24 months recipients of collected proceeds have included Pinellas County Chapter of the ACLU, Urban Yoga Foundation, Tampa Bay Watch, Equality Florida, Green Book of Tampa Bay, The Kind Mouse, REACHUP, Inc., The Make It Out Foundation, The FitzLane Project, Girls Rock! St. Pete, The Children’s Dream Fund, Queer Expressions, and more.
  • Facilities: The BE has invited various groups to meet and offer their programming free of charge at our locations, including Urban Yoga Foundation and Queer Expressions St. Pete.
  • Sponsorships: The BE sponsors events and donates gift certificates to area organizations for fundraisers of all kinds, but especially to support those organizations concerned with mental and physical health, children, and health equity.
  • Grants and Awards: The BE Present is funded by anonymous donors and The BE to make packages and memberships available to people who need them.
We are creating more racial diversity on our staff, as we prioritize it in our recruitment, programming, and retention efforts.

We are actively seeking BIPOC staff and instructors. With better staff diversity and different voices guiding our programming, we will be able to better understand and serve the needs and preferences of a broader community of people. With success, this should in turn create better racial diversity in our clientele.

We support local BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women-owned retail vendors.

We currently carry RANI Goods and Blue Sage Eco Boutique products, both produced by local entrepreneurs of color. We are actively searching for better representation of BIPOC-owned retail in our store.


BE staff will see these internal manifestations of our efforts:

  • We created The BE Mentorship Program, ensuring open lines of communication, professional support, and a greater mix of voices to lend guidance and feedback to new hires.
  • We serve our local community reaching out to better learn how we can serve those who have felt excluded from the benefits of yoga and mindful fitness in general, or The BE specifically. Staff has shared that these efforts are important to their professional development and job satisfaction.
  • We have improved and clarified our systems for hiring, evaluations, raises, and internal communications. It has become clear that transparency and consistent systems create the atmosphere of trust necessary for staff happiness. We want to ensure that there is no question that all staff are given the same opportunities for growth and advancement.
  • We have clear diversity and inclusion goals, with plans to implement these initiatives in all of our systems: staff hiring, training, class and events programming, employee evaluations, opportunities, philanthropic efforts, and community outreach.
  • We have zero-tolerance for bigotry of any kind, including common microaggressions and problematic language.

Personally, we are committed to continuing this soul work. Yoga philosophy teaches us to identify unconscious patterns of thought and habit, and then discern if those patterns are helpful, hurtful, or benign. And when we conclude that a pattern is not helpful, we set about replacing it with a new habit that is helpful or benign.

We believe strongly in The BE, in what we stand for, and in what we DO. We’ve heard hundreds of stories of healing over the years. But with your help, we can do better. If you have ideas, questions, concerns, or recommendations PLEASE reach out to us. We are all ears! Mail to: help@thebodyelectricyoga.com.

Thank you!