As the COVID 19 pandemic unfolds we’ve seen the disproportionate death rates between Black Americans and the rest of the nation. One reason for the disparity is the prevalence of preventable, underlying health conditions present in the Black community. The Warm-Up is a series of fitness pop-ups providing community members studio quality classes, for free, in the historically significant Malcolm X Park.
The classes will be led by recognized Black fitness instructors, who will facilitate no equipment workout routines that can easily be replicated at home.Furthermore, each instructor will provide a take-home guide of little or no cost steps to becoming healthier. Diverse programming will allow folks of all abilities and fitness levels a chance to participate. The Warm-Up will provide West Philadelphians a free and accessible first step towards healthy living and an overall healthier community.
I have already confirmed four fitness instructors who have agreed to facilitate the workout classes. These are teachers who are known, well respected, and have years of experience working in the Philadelphia fitness scene. They include Triyo Fitness (HIIT), City Fit Girls (Running/Strength training), Lauren Leavell (Barre), and Vibes and Vinyasa (Yoga). In addition, I plan on connecting with local organizations that have been providing free boxes of fruits and vegetables to the community. Having them distribute their boxes during the events localizes resources for the attendees.
Beyond providing exercise, the goal of the program is to inspire self-determination in participants to mobilize other community health movements in this space.This program is a grassroots approach toward fighting existing structural inequalities and creating health equity. By centering the holistic well-being of this community, we expand the conversation past surviving to demanding and co-creating the optimal conditions for community members to thrive.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (September 2020)