RTY BLM Statement
We are heart-broken and horrified about the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others who have suffered and lost their lives to police brutality, white supremacy, and systemic racism. The senseless killing of yet another black person is heinous, disgraceful, and criminal.
At Roots Tribe Yoga (RTY), we empower children and young adults to step into their fullest potential. In doing so, we need to invite them into a world where they know that they matter, where justice is the priority, and where adults act as role models; standing up for what is right, and speaking and acting out against what is wrong.
Black Lives Matter.
Equity and equality matter.
It is imperative that we examine and educate ourselves, about the ways in which racism is ingrained and festering, both in the very foundation of this country, as well as within the systems on which it runs. Overcoming fear and divisiveness is the only way towards a healthy, happy, and united society. We are committed to supporting all People of Color in the fight for justice and true equality.
Like so many others, we are doing our very best to respond to the killings and the shameful injustice of America from a place of clarity, authenticity, and love. Yes, this is the time for anger and rage and grief and mourning. Yes, this is the time to get loud, be heard, and take action. This is also the time to use our yoga practice – to engage in self care, to recharge, and to remain centered and connected. We know that these practices are the best way to gain and maintain the strength, solidarity, and energy that is needed to put an end to the systemic racism and white supremacy that plagues our Nation.
We, at Roots Tribe Yoga, will do better.
We believe strongly that we must practice what we preach. We commit to listening and learning.
We invite the members of our international community to join us in reflecting on what has led us to this point. We must honestly examine our own overt and covert participation in systemic racism. We must prioritize learning more about the truth of racism in America and use the information at hand to take tangible action steps to galvanize change.
We will continue to share and generate resources for resilience. We are starting a formal, intentional dialogue about equity and inclusion. Should you wish to participate in those meetings, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Love and Solidarity,
Roots Tribe Yoga
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter what their color.”
– Maya Angelou
Our mission is to use the practices of yoga, mindfulness, and play to empower young adults and give them the tools they need to create positive change.
RTY’s vision is that children across the world grow up with a rooted sense of empowerment, compassion, and interconnectedness.
Roots Tribe Yoga is a non-profit organization that fosters cultural diversity, unity and mindfulness. We understand that international development starts with self development. Through our curriculum we empower our students to step into their fullest potential, and provide them with the skills and tools they need to create the changes they wish to see within their lives and communities. The RTY method consists of a unique curriculum which includes asana practice, breath work, mindfulness and meditation, discussion, creativity, journaling, games and laughter.
Empowerment Camp, The Gambia, 2017
This past August I traveled to The Gambia to host our 2nd annual girls empowerment camp together with Peace Corps Gambia.
The five day camp was preceded by a five day RTY Ambassador training for 4 Peace Corps Gambia Volunteers and 7 local counterparts. Each RTY Ambassador was trained in the RTY method, and the 4 Peace Corps volunteers continued their work with RTY by acting as camp coordinators.
This year, we gave each girl a RTY Empowerment Workbook to enhance their learning and give them a tangible piece of camp to bring home. Thanks to a generous donation from Om Shanti we were able to give each girl and camp coordinator a pair of yoga leggings to facilitate their personal practice!
The RTY Empowerment Camp succeeded in its mission of encouraging each girl to think critically and articulate themselves and their communities in new ways. One of the girl’s said, “I will practice yoga after I leave camp, because it makes me strong and powerful.”
As reiterated by our Ambassadors, the camp produced visible results among the girls in self-regulation, ability to identify emotions, social connectedness, self-confidence, and self-efficacy. By building their self confidence, the girls are empowered to act on the information they receive from other programs and trainings which are largely information based. Lastly, the 31 girls were empowered to create Community Development Projects in their local communities.
After participating in Roots Tribe Yoga’s 12-week yoga based empowerment curriculum, students report a statistically significant increase in:
Awareness of emotions and ability to articulate them to others
Social connectedness to others, seeing people as friendly and approachable
Mindfulness and awareness of surroundings in daily life
Self-esteem and positive attitude towards themselves.