Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In The Fitness Industry

Club Industry's series on diversity, equity and inclusion is brought to you in collaboration with BLAQUE

Club industry has committed to helping to move forward the discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion in the fitness industry. During the next several months, we will add videos and stories on the topic, many of which will be produced by people of color in the industry. Make sure to check back here on a regular basis as more content is added. 

Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In The Fitness Industry

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: The Time Is Now (Introduction to the series)

4 Ways The Fitness Industry Can Engage In True Allyship by T'Nisha Symone, founder, BLAQUE

It’s Your Turn To Be Part Of Club Industry’s Series On Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

Addressing Racism In The Fitness Industry Requires Understanding Its Roots by Rodney J. Morris, Workplace Culture Workout, and Pamela Kufahl, Club Industry


People of color share their first-person narrative about their experiences in the fitness industry. 

Microaggressions And Me: The Realizations Of A Black Fitness Professional by Carlos Davila, diversity officer, Fhitting Room

From Pain To Power Through Movement And Exercise by Ianthe Mellors, head of fitness and dance at FitXR

Open The Doors: In Fitness, I’m Often The Only Black Person In The Room by Dr. Antonio Williams, associate professor and associate department chair in the Indiana University School of Public Health

‘Dream Job’ Shines Light On Fitness Industry Inequities, Leads To New Dream by Venus Davis, founder, The Strong Academy

The Intersection Of Obesity, COVID-19, Social Justice And Mental Health by Anthony Wilkins, co-owner, Alloy Personal Training for Women

Studio Owner's Mission Is To Reveal The Truth About Health To Latinx Community by Nate Feliciano, owner and head trainer, Studio 16 

DEI Efforts Should Include Neurologically Impaired People by Hal Hargrave, president and CEO, The Perfect Step, and Ashton Wray, director of education and staff development, The Perfect Step

Couple Creates a Safe Space in Fitness for LGBTQ+ Community by Jorge Avalos, CycleBar franchisee

Video Presentations on DEI Efforts in the Fitness Industry

The Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (November 2020)

East Bank Club And VIDA Fitness: Two Health Club Brands Share Their Diversity Efforts (March 2021)

The Bay Club Company Speaks Out About Its Diversity Efforts (March 2021)

How to Create an Inclusive Business Model (June 2021)

The XX Factor: Why You Need Women in Your Executive Ranks (June 2021)

Hear Our Voices

Members of the fitness community respond to questions about the impact that systemic racism and the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion has on people of color. The first questions get the perspectives of the Black fitness community. Future questions will share insights from other people of color within the industry. 

Hear Our Voices: Speaking To The Fitness Industry’s Inclusivity Problem

Hear Our Voices: The Impact Of Systemic Racism On The Fitness Industry

Hear Our Voices: The Personal Impact Of Systemic Racism On Fitness Professionals

Hear Our Voices: Weighing In On Health Club Diversity Efforts

Hear Our Voices: Actions White People Can Take To Dismantle Racism In The Fitness Industry

Hear Our Voices: Stop Contemplating And Start Your Diversity Efforts

Fitness Companies With Diversity Initiatives

All In: ACE Works To Influence Systemic Change For Greater Diversity - American Council on Exercise

All In: Les Mills Works For Change For Group Fitness Leaders - Les Mills

CorePower Yoga Focuses on Democratizing Yoga - CorePower Yoga

VIDA Fitness: Corporate DEI That You Can Touch and Feel - VIDA Fitness

Chuze Fitness Is about All People; Fitness Is Its Vehicle - Chuze Fitness

Initiatives From Other Industry Sources

BLAQUE - A Gym, Digital Platform and Outdoor Pop-ups for the Black community

Command of Fitness Collective - Including Black Girl Pilates and Melanin Brothers of Pilates

Decolonizing Fitness- A social justice platform that provides affirming fitness services, community education and apparel in support of body diversity.

Black Girls Breathing – Free virtual breath work sessions for Black women

Articles From Other Industry Sources

The 1619 Project – The New York Times

Black in the White World of Fitness: Race and Racism in Wellness- A conversation with Sonja Herbert 

Every Day Racism in the Fitness Industry and Beyond- Chrissy King

The Cover Shoot that Brought Me Face to Face with Racism in the Wellness Industry- Nicole Cardoza

3 Fitness Instructors Explain What an Anti-Racist Industry Would Look Like-Kim Walker, Ilya Parker

3 Ways to Show Up for Your LGBTQ+ Members by The Kyles of Kyle House Fitness (from Mindbody's website)

They didn’t see me as innocent - Vox

Videos And Documentaries

13th (Netflix)

Webinars On Diversity From Other Industry Sources

Diversity and Inclusion 101: Taking an intersectional approach to wellness - Chrissy King ($79 fee)

Cultivating Community: Embracing Diversity & Inclusion In Your Wellness Business - Mindbody


Racial differences in weathering and its associations with psychosocial stress: The CARDIA study

Other Resources

The Business Case for Diversity – From Boutique Fitness Solutions  

Mental Health Issues Facing the Black Community