Five and a half years ago Heather White opened the doors to TrillFit in Mission Hill. She wanted to create an inclusive space that made the Boston wellness space more accessible. White, Founder and CEO, explains, “It was a simple mission to say, ‘Hey, hip hop is a great democratizer.’”
Before there was a physical studio, classes were selling out days in advance. The instant success wasn’t accidental. “I think that TrillFit, for the first time, gave a lot of folks the opportunity to feel seen and heard,” White explains. People are encouraged to come as they are to a class to move, to sweat, to release stress, and to have fun.
It is more than just a workout class, it a community and movement for good. The roots in Mission Hill were intentional. According to a Boston University study the life expectancy drops 30 years between Boston’s Back Bay and Roxbury. White wanted to be part of the solution to lessen that statistic.
“We knew that we were always going to be a part of a public health movement,” explains White, adding, “It should be making moving your body and getting the wellness that you deserve more accessible.”
With the racial uprisings this summer, the entire TrillFit team saw an opportunity to invite others to join their fight for equity and inclusion in the space – a fight the team and their community have been battling for years. They developed the TrillFit Pledge and invited organizations, studios, and individuals to sign.
TrillFit Product Manager Meghan Venable-Thomas explains the pledge is more than just a signature, it’s about asking people to “set an intention to do better, an intention to think more inclusively, an intention to really think about what this looks like in your organization, and to really think about what are the steps that help you to get there.”
The Pledge has six driving principals to guide organizations and individuals that commit to growth:
- Increase opportunities and decrease barriers to our services for communities of color
- Create a company culture that reflects the community we serve .
- Create a culture of inclusion where people from diverse backgrounds feel their identity is valued and their voice is welcome, heard, and respected.
- Advance learning about the impact of bias and systemic racism on health outcomes and create a roadmap for change.
- Collaborate with local partners and invest, not extract, from the community in which my business lives.
- Ensure my business supports local organizations focused on improving health outcomes in communities of color.
It’s a commitment to make positive change together. It’s not a battle any one organization can win alone. So why not invite your competitors to join your mission? It’s simple.
White shares, “I'd like to see studios around the country realize that we can put community over competition and we can come together and we can come together to save the people that we say that we support.”