We founded Mindshare Collaborative with the goal of helping health and wellness professionals with their businesses so that they could expand their positive impact and serve a broader community. Given our commitment to that mission, it is painful to see the challenges facing our community and our nation today, specifically concerning the longstanding and systemic racism that pervades communities of color.
George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement, as well as the rash of similar events in recent months once again reminds us that while laws may have been written to deconstruct bigotry and hate, in far too many ways we remain separate and unequal. Mindshare believes that Black Lives Matter and that the measures taken by corporations, policymakers and individual citizens today will contribute to the collective health and wellness of our nation moving forward.
If we don’t embrace the responsibility of substantive and sustained change this moment calls for, the health and wellness of our entire nation is at risk. That is why we are re-committing ourselves to bringing together like minded individuals and pursuing the ideals of equity, opportunity and justice for Black Americans and People of Color in the sincere pursuit of a more perfect union.
As a community of health professionals that specialize in supporting and elevating the mind, body and spirit of all people, from all races, genders and sexual orientations, Mindshare has a unique obligation and opportunity to meet this moment. It begins by recognizing who we are as an organization, having uncomfortable conversations with one another to gain greater perspectives, and committing to doing what’s required to achieve that goal. Our leadership is having the same conversations about equity and inclusion within our organization and asking the same questions concerning the nature of bias and discrimination as others across the nation. That’s what we believe makes this a pivotal moment: the collection and diversity of voices elevating the issue of social justice to heights we haven’t seen since the Civil Rights Movement.
Functional medicine and integrative health professionals look for the root cause of illness to achieve true healing, especially for chronic conditions. That’s why we’re interested in applying the same mindset to solving the chronic disease of racial injustice and inequality. It starts with the right questions. Why, despite our country’s progress, do communities of color continue to suffer the indignation of police brutality? How is it that more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act the liberties of Black Americans continue to be undermined? Why do food deserts and lack of access to quality health care persist in historically underserved areas? Why are Blacks and People of Color underrepresented in healthcare careers? How can we attack the chronic disease of racism, bigotry and hate and be rid of it once and for all?
We know we have work to do, and we have already started by building on initiatives that began before the current crisis emerged.
First, in an effort to diversify our organization, Mindshare is reviewing our policies and membership terms to remove any hidden bias that may be present. Our leadership wants to ensure that any licensed or accredited health professional who seeks to join us and take advantage of our robust community of business experts and tools has the opportunity to do so. We have already adjusted our membership policies to invite any licensed or accredited health and wellness professional seeking assistance with the business aspects of their practice or business to freely join our community. Today, and for the foreseeable future, our review will continue. Ultimately, this is an approach we are encouraging other organizations in our field to take on as well to further diversify the health and wellness industry and expand our ability to serve more communities with culturally competent care.
Next, Mindshare is exploring what more we can do as an organization to impact the communities where we live and serve. Many of us are already engaged in efforts to support historically underserved communities, and we recognize that this is a chance for us to bring the collective power of Mindshare to bear on these important issues of equity, opportunity and justice. Lack of access to these key pillars of democracy can have a devastating impact on health and wellness, and we know that impact can resonate for generations resulting in income inequality, chronic illness, and stagnating poverty. We also see an opportunity to promote careers in healthcare to Black and minority communities by beginning an outreach starting as early as high school with career days, and continuing into high school and college with paid internships with our members for disadvantaged students interested in healthcare careers.
Finally, Mindshare is listening to voices within our membership and throughout our communities to gain a greater understanding of the systemic issues at hand and develop a way forward for our organization concerning social and racial justice. We want to empower our team and members of our community to be serious and committed allies for Black Americans. That means being more conscious of the source and presence of our privilege, calling out bias when we see it, and committing ourselves to the ideals of anti-racism, anti-bigotry and anti-discrimination.
Mindshare is prepared to lead on the issue of social and racial justice within the health and wellness community, and we welcome our members to join us. While it is important that we lead with love and compassion, it is equally important that we act with intention and conviction to right these deep-rooted wrongs. We believe that by working together as a community, we can make a meaningful and measurable difference if we harness our collective energy towards affecting lasting, positive change.