In the past, I have felt comfortable with my role regarding social equality issues because I am not racist, am raising my family appropriately, and have actively supported causes benefitting minorities. I am now coming to believe that “white privilege” for me has meant that I had the luxury to largely ignore social reform and racial justice issues.
I have also come to believe that ‘not being racist’ is insufficient for healing past societal transgressions. Best-selling author Ibram Kendi suggests that actively choosing to be "antiracist" is the only way to build an equitable society, given our societal history and ingrained institutional policies.
As described previously in this BLOG, Santiago’s inspiration resulted in the wellness resort’s mission being centered around believing in a larger collective consciousness where the inter-connection between all living systems is real and vitally important for wellbeing. Social inequality creates disconnection, which negatively impacts everything. It is unacceptable.
The wellness industry can and must play an active role when encountering differences and conflict related to race, heritage, religion, gender identity, and sexual preference. Directly intertwined as a foundational element within our resort’s mission is to accept people for who they are -- which clearly requires us to empathize with and embrace all perspectives, without being shy about discussing inauthenticity or accountability.
As such, we are forming a ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ advisory council to ensure our culture, buildings, experiences, marketing, and operations are all fully aligned with this principle. It is not enough to just “look diverse” and wallpaper the issue, we need to deeply consider the intentions, actions, and underlying conscious of all we create.
We are also launching a non-profit that is focused on trauma resolution programming for disadvantaged or high-risk groups that may not otherwise be able to afford our resort. I am deeply interested in addressing generational trauma.
Finally, we will ingrain social equality more broadly in our programming design, understanding that wellness is a team sport and we cannot be healthy until each of us individually feels appreciated and connected to a larger whole. Love for one means love for all.