On June 5th, 2020, we were presented with a Calls to Action letter. The following is our response to that letter. This was originally posted publicly on Facebook, but we feel it is important to address in a more permanent web space. Each call to action is copied from the public letter and underneath each one is how Aradia has responded. Lots of these actions are
ongoing and we thank you for your patience while we work to better Aradia.

“On June 5th, 2020 Aradia Fitness received a call to action letter prepared by Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) members of the Aradia Edmonton community as a response to the ongoing violences and injustices experienced by students and instructors alike. This call to action letter was prompted by a Facebook post made by a former employee
expressing pro-cop sentiments, and Aradia’s response to this by taking a “neutral” stance on the topic. Aradia failed their community, and understands that in Aradia’s neutrality they were actively participating in white supremacy causing further harm to the Aradia community. For this
we apologize, and state that Aradia Fitness Edmonton unequivocally supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

During this time, these are the actions we have implemented at Aradia Fitness in response to the call to action letter. Some of these actions are not yet completed, but underway and we recognize Aradia’s work will never be finished. Creating measures of safety will require ongoing re assessments, continuous training, and policy enforcement and updates. A complete list of Aradia Fitness Edmonton’s policies reflecting our changes are available by request at edmonton@aradiafitness.com and will be available on our new website in September.

We stand with the QTBIPOC community members of Aradia Fitness Edmonton, and recognize the emotional labour and time put in to calling us in.

1) Aradia Edmonton must actively participate in denouncing and fighting against anti-Black an anti-Indigenous racism. Part of this work must include publicly denouncing the actions of Aradia Edmonton instructors who express racist views. It might also include fundraising for anti-racist
organizations and uplifting marginalized voices to dismantle socialized racism in its staff and community. 
Response: We have acknowledged and denounced the actions of previous employees who have expressed racist views that do not comply with Aradia Edmonton’s values. We will continue to denounce those in the Aradia community who hold racist views. 

2)  Aradia Edmonton must acknowledge the history of BIPOC sex workers who created the industry that the business stands on by giving back monetarily and publicly advocating for the decriminalization of sex work. Aradia must incorporate information about the history of pole dancing and its roots in sex work into the Pole 101 curriculum. 
Response: We are incorporating our acknowledgement and history of the pole dancing and its roots in sex work at the beginning of each 6-week session. Additionally, we are working with Alberta Sex Positiv Education and Community Centre (ASPECC), and actively searching for ways to advocate for the decriminalization of sex work.

3)  Aradia Edmonton must hire a trained human resources professional or organization to mediate conflicts between staff and respond to staff and client complaints. 
Response: We hired an outsourced HR team to assist us with policy creation and enforcement. In order to hold instructors and students accountable, continuous failure to comply with Aradia’s policies will result in suspension or termination. You can reach the HR team through:

4) Aradia Edmonton must enact a ZERO tolerance policy for sexual misconduct. 
Response: We enacted a zero tolerance policy for sexual misconduct.  All instructors are required to review our new policies poster at the beginning of each new 6-week session. These posters are a summary of our safety policies.

5)  Aradia Edmonton must ensure their instructors lead by example and professionalism at sanctioned events especially at events centered around the consumption of alcohol and other substances.
Response: Our policies on drug and alcohol use, harassment, and violence in the workplace and during events have been updated to reflect the professionalism that was lacking. Instructors have read them and signed off on these policies. If an instructor does not comply, actions will be taken.

6)  Aradia Edmonton must periodically audit classes to ensure instructors are:
a) Establishing a distinct line between instructor and student; 
b) Ensuring language used in classes is queer-friendly and gender-inclusive; 
c) Addressing microaggressions towards marginalized groups appropriately. 
Response: We hired Inclusive Practices Consulting (IPC) to assist with our positive changes.
IPC will audit classes to ensure a), b), and c) are being met. IPC is also there as a resource for instructors so they are comfortable in dealing with a), b), and c). 

7)  Aradia Edmonton must develop and implement an organizational diversity strategy. The development of this strategy must reflect the diversity of Aradia and therefore must incorporate input from the BIPOC community, the queer, trans, and gender non-conforming community, people with diverse abilities, and people with larger bodies. This strategy must be comprehensive and include the following subsections: 
a) Affirmative action to encourage diversity in hiring practices
b) Promotional materials and social media management including policies on student-instructor interactions online

c) Human Resources practices 
d) Instructor training  
e) Disciplinary actions for violations and abuses of power 

Response: Aradia Fitness is re-evaluating their hiring practices to ensure suitable candidates are able to apply without barriers. For example, should the cost of the CPFA theory course be a barrier for a suitable candidate, Aradia Fitness will work with that applicant to facilitate an appropriate and working payment plan. We will also be using affirmative action practices when hiring. Our promotional material and social media will now include representations of body diversity. We have added a survey monkey link to our classes that allows students and instructors to anonymously address any concerns. This link can be found under our contact tab on our website, in our studios at the bottom of the poster, and in class confirmation emails. We are working with the owner of ScheduleHouse to have pronouns added to your Aradia account. You can soon expect to see it added as a new feature. Our communication system between student and management has now changed. For general and administrative concerns, students can direct all inquiries to edmonton@aradiafitness.com. If you are looking to contact the owner directly, you can reach her through chantellearadia@gmail.com. Please note that these e-mails will be changing once the new website arrives.

8) Aradia Edmonton staff must be required to attend training on: 
a) Cultural safety and anti-racism
b) Working with LGBTQIA2S+ students
c) Sexual assault and harassment, with a specific focus on consent in fitness instruction
d) The inherent power imbalance between students and teachers 
e) Fatphobia and body diversity in fitness
Response: Aradia hired Inclusive Practices Consulting (IPC) to facilitate mandatory ongoing training to all of our instructors on Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression (ARAO). Cultural sensitivity, anti-racism, 2SLGBTQAI+ inclusion, consent, body diversity and body liberation are included in this ongoing training. Aradia is working closely with IPC to address student and instructor concerns, and to aid Aradia staff in filling in their knowledge gaps. We will continue to work with them throughout the year, where they will be included in further instructor training and at our staff meetings. In order to create transparency we invite you to reach out to James, a co- owner of IPC, if you have any questions or concerns that are not being met. They can be reached at jjharley@shaw.ca. Additionally IPC will be auditing classes to ensure instructors are safer people and upholding Aradia’s new policies.

9) Aradia Edmonton’s instructor training practices must be evaluated and reformed to include specific instruction on how to safely and effectively work with people with diverse abilities and different body types.
Response: We have finalized a new Intermediate Manual that provides gender inclusive language, modifications for diverse bodies, and we have addressed the concerns of the pole names “Hello Boys” and “Lady Garden” to be named “Wrist Seat” and “Wrist Seat with Leg Variations”. We are updating our Advanced 1 and 2 manuals as well. Introductory level pole
class manuals have already been revised to reflect gender inclusivity and body diversity. We are looking into regulated ways of training our staff to instruct and properly spot bodies that are different sizes, proportions and have different abilities than theirs.