Black Lives Matter. A Letter from Eli Kerr, Gnarly CEO
Black Lives Matter. A Letter from Eli Kerr, Gnarly CEO

Black Lives Matter. A Letter from Eli Kerr, Gnarly CEO

At Gnarly Nutrition, we believe in people. We want to inspire all people to reach their potential. We believe in equal rights for all, but we recognize and acknowledge that equality does not exist today, especially for the Black community in this country.

The most recent displays of police brutality we have witnessed have caused us all to reflect on what our part is in allowing a culture of white supremacy to prevail in this country. That culture, built upon systemic racism, continues to propagate inequality for the Black community and we are ready to be a more deliberate part of the solution.

About 20 years ago I had a mentor that had taught me a principle that I continue to use today. I call it the “so what?” principle. My mentor would often share ideas, information, thoughts, etc, and at the end of sharing he would always ask, “so what?” In other words, what are you going to do with this new information I just gave you? How are you going to apply what you have learned?

I have read, watched, and listened to Black people all over our Nation. From podcasts of Black people retelling horrific stories to news coverage of the murder of George Floyd as well as the numerous examples of police brutality at demonstrations. The blatant racism and treatment of the Black community are unacceptable. I gather all this information, reflect, and with open eyes, I ask myself, “so what?” What do I personally do now? How do we create lasting change? How does Gnarly help, change, and become better?

Our team has discussed and created the following plan of action for Gnarly Nutrition. This will continue to be an ongoing discussion and a focused part of our brand ethos. These are the beginning steps of our commitment:

1. We have declared and taken a public stance that we condemn the police brutality faced by the Black community and call for police reform. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and pledge to use our resources to fight against racism and bring about equality and justice.

2. Our team members will participate in anti-racism training for professionals specifically in health and wellness put on by Chrissy King June 15,2020. We will require our team members to participate in DEI training on an annual basis.

3. Gnarly’s CEO has signed the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge. We have always sought diversity in our organization and with our athletes, but we can and will do better. Item #8 below, will be our guiding force to bring this pledge to fruition.

4. We will make a concerted effort to feature underrepresented athletes on our social platforms and media presence through guidance from #8 below.

5. We will use our blog and newsletters to share more in-depth stories, experiences, and writings of our underrepresented athletes. We need to decide how to best accomplish this and will rely on the guidance from #8 below.

6. We will actively search for potential BIPOC candidates to be a part of our executive team. In conjunction, we will actively seek out BIPOC content creators in our efforts to diversify. We will pay equal wages.

7. We will work with UIOutdoors and similar local organizations to extend available resources in an effort to provide underrepresented communities with guidance on accessing the outdoors.

8. In order to truly make our efforts inclusive, we have begun to assemble a committee of advisors to guide us on JEDI topics. This group will help Gnarly be deliberate, responsive, and considerate so that we can appropriately address racism as a brand, internally and externally, while also leveraging our platform to amplify the voices of BIPOC athletes. The board will be a permanent fixture of our organization. We understand as white identifying people, we will need this guidance in order to work on our own implicit bias and behaviors that covertly contribute to systemic racism. The logistics of frequency, duration, and format of the meetings are still to be determined but at this point, we expect to meet on an at least quarterly basis, for a specific amount of time. We will compensate fairly.

This is the beginning of our long term plan to implement lasting change in our organization and community. We will continue to listen, learn, and educate ourselves. Thank you for your continued support of Gnarly Nutrition. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.

– Eli Kerr, Gnarly Nutrition CEO

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