The recent killing of George Floyd (among many others), as well as the ardent global response, have underscored the existence of an enduring and insidious problem — that modern society is fraught with systemic racism. As a travel company that focuses on teaching surfing and yoga in Costa Rica, many aspects of our business are bolstered by socio-economic privilege. The truth is that we have failed to take sufficient action against this inequitable system.
Historically, Bodhi Surf + Yoga has prioritized addressing environmental issues over social ones, but the two are so inextricably linked that to favor one over the other will not result in the advancement of either. Simply put, we are beneficiaries of institutionalized systems of both social inequality and environmental injustice, and we therefore have a responsibility to address them simultaneously.
In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we could have fallen into the trend of putting out a statement of solidarity, and then returning to “business as usual”. Instead, we have opted for a more intentional approach — in both the short and long term — by holding space, listening, and beginning to educate ourselves.
In full transparency, at this moment we do not have a concrete action plan to advance social equity and justice within the spaces that we operate. Dismantling institutionalized racism is a complex task that will require persistent learning, reflection, and communication; all of which will determine the action steps we ultimately take.
As we continue to develop and implement these initiatives, here is what we have committed to as of today:
In the short term we will…
- Educate ourselves by listening to the voices of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities in our various industries and networks (surf, yoga, travel, B Corporation, etc.) through widely available resources, as well as hiring local experts to teach us about specific social and environmental justice issues.
- Hold space by continuing regular conversations about social justice, diversity, and inclusion with all staff (both international and Costa Rican).
- Pursue action by initiating a series of weekly meetings and workshops to reassess company values, mission, vision, and purpose; improve communication in regard to sensitive topics; and explore ways in which we can further contribute to social and environmental justice.
- Donate at least six vacation packages in the 2020 calendar year (fair market value of approximately $21,540), half of which will support organizations working toward social equity.
In the long term we will…
- Seek to address social issues of inequality and oppression with the same fervor that we have historically addressed environmental issues by aligning with and donating to organizations that promote both issues.
- Create a more inclusive and equitable economy by utilizing B Corp’s three tools for improvement (the Impact Assessment, the Inclusive Economy Challenge, and the Sustainable Development Goals Action Manager) with a heightened focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity within our business practices.
- Offer services that are more inclusive and accessible to all (a process we have already begun).
Let’s get to work.
Team Bodhi Surf + Yoga