WENDY WINN, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR.
2020 has been a year of disruptive change. As the nation and world are confronted with our engrained social inequities, we have been led to question our actions and beliefs. As individuals, we are looking at who we are in a privilege-biased society.
As a company, Custom Performance has taken this time to zoom out on our mission and vision in order to reflect on how we operate. In doing so, we created our “Social Justice and Activism Initiative.” We recognize inequality is not a flashpoint tool for Instagram promotion. Real changes take time. Here is where we are choosing to begin:
Social Justice & Anti-Racism Workshop: Our sponsored athlete, Mirna Valerio, began offering instructional workshops on racism and privilege. (It should be noted that we did not seek her out because she is a black woman, but because she offered this course and has experience teaching it.) We hired Ms. Valerio to conduct her course for the entire Custom staff and closed the clinic to devote time to this training. She encouraged each of us to take a hard look at who we are and what privilege we each have. Further, we heard insightful perspectives from Mirna and her colleagues on how each of them have been impacted on a daily basis because of their race or religion. She provided us with the resources to move forward. The class was truly transformative in getting us to face our own biases and start the hard work of change.
Social Contribution: We want to make an effort to support real change in New York City. In July, we began committing proceeds from Bread & Butter Strength for runners class to local charities. The criteria for the charities included reaching underserved populations locally and making an immediate difference in peoples’ lives. In July, we chose Movement 2 Be (https://www.movement2be.com), in August it was the Jeremiah Program Brooklyn (https://jeremiahprogram.org/brooklyn/), and in September it is South Brooklyn Mutual Aid Society (https://southbkmutualaid.com/)
Local Support: We sponsored the Take the Bridge Virtual Summer Series to help support the running community and runners here in NYC. Runners selected by Take The Bridge were offered free services at Custom Performance.
We are committed to doing better for our society. We will continue to work and grow. We are dedicated to doing the right thing, always.