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 our BIPOC community is just as comfortable within our walls as everyone else.

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 representing all of St. Pete. 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 by and large didn’t just happen. And now we realize that it’s going to require more effort, new ideas, and a greater commitment of resources to create the inclusive BE we envisioned. To meet the demands of our very own mission statement, we must prioritize our work on diversity and inclusion, and not let it flounder when times get tough.

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 BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) leaders in the yoga and fitness communities and developing new relationships. We will continue partnering with Urban Yoga Foundation, with the simple goal to diversify voices in the yoga teaching world by putting more BIPOC at the front of the room.

We hosted UYF’s The People’s Practice through 2020, and in the summer of ’21 launched our own weekly, donation-based CommUNITY Class, emphasizing community-building, diversity, and inclusion.

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 give 100% of those donations directly to them. We also offer two free/donation based events that promote the organization’s cause which are Free Sunset Yoga at the pier on the first Wednesday of the month, Sunset Yoga/Beats at the pier the third Wednesday of the month. Ask the front desk for more details.

Our partners for 2022
July

Children’s Dream Fund

What they do:

  • 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.
  • Body Electric is partnering with Children’s Dream Fund to make a Dream come true for sweet 4-year-old Brylie who lives right here in St Pete!  Since 8 months old, Brylie has been battling a blood disorder and has been in and out of the hospital too many times in her young life. Brylie’s favorite color is “rainbow!”, she loves riding her bike and playing with all of her baby dolls. Her favorite princesses are Ana and Elsa, so it’s no surprise that her Dream is a magical VIP trip to Disney World.

Find out more:

June

St Pete Free Clinic

What they do:

  • 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.

Find out more:

May

Girls Rock Camp

What they do:

  • 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.

Find out more:

April

Care USA

  • CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice.

What they do:

  • 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.

How will the money be used?

  • Donations will aid emergency aid (food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly). 

Find out more:

March

Fitzlane Project

  • The FitzLane Project provides free access to LGBTQIA+ specialized mental health services necessary to empower underprivileged transgender youth to embrace their authentic selves and have the tools needed to succeed in their everyday lives.

What they do:

  • 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.  

Find out more:

February

Purpose Through Passion

  • Purpose Through Passion is a 501C3 nonprofit organization that provides wrap-around services to the Tampa Bay, FL community. 

What they do: 

  • 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.

Find out more:

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.”

What they do:

  • BSF 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.

How to find them:

  • Website: https://brickstreetfarms.com/
  • IG: @brickstreetfarms
  • Facebook: /brickstreetfarms

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 haven’t been particularly strategic or intentional about it. That will be changing as we go forward. 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 at The Sundial, at Crescent Lake Park, and now we have two free classes per month at St. Pete Pier.
  • Donations: collected at our bimonthly Pier events benefit local charities chosen each month that reflect The BE’s vision, mission, and culture. In the past 12 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., and The Make It Out Foundation.
  • Facilities: The BE Athletic hosts the Lakewood High School boys’ basketball team and boys’ and girls’ soccer teams for free, supervised weekly workouts. We also offer a discounted membership to parents of Lakewood High athletes. Lakewood High is near our gym in South St. Pete and has a minority enrollment of 65%.
  • 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-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!