back to Blog

Introducing the JEDI Working Group

Community • February 9, 2021

At Fhitting Room, diversity, equity, justice and inclusion are at the core of who we are and the community we have built (and continue to build). Our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all of the roles within the organization. They are central to our mission and to our impact. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing—and increasingly diverse—world.

What does JEDI stand for?

  • [J]ustice—Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities regardless of how they identify or are identified.
  • [E]quity—Equity is the state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial and fair. This concept is similar to “fairness”.
  • [D]iversity—Diversity means having a range of people with various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds and various lifestyles, experience, and interests. Having a variety of individuals and points of view represented.
  • [I]nclusion—Inclusion is the culture in which the mix of people can come to work, feel comfortable and confident to be themselves, and work in a way that suits them. Inclusion will ensure that everyone feels valued and more importantly, add value.

What does this JEDI working group do? 

In collaboration with the Diversity and Inclusion Officer (“DIO”), this team focuses on:

[J]uxtaposition—The JEDI team provides information to Fhitting Room staff highlighting the commonalities that we all share to help minimize the differences we have been socialized to believe exist between us.

[E]ducation—The JEDIs, in collaboration with the Curriculum Team, provide webinars, courses, and ancillary materials to staff to continue to educate the team on various topics within the domain of Diversity and Inclusion.

[D]eliverables—The JEDIs will provide tangible resources and information for not only the JEDI members but also the entire Fhitting Room staff. 

[I]mpact—The JEDIs will not only focus on issues pertinent to Fhitting Room, but to fitness/health/wellness issues that reach beyond the walls of Fhitting Room. Our continued growth and desire to engage in this, at times tense space, will be an example for all fitness spaces and will ensure that our community (both internal and external) feel seen, heard, and appreciated. 

Why is being a part of the JEDI working group important to the members of the team?

In their own words…

Carlos Davila, FHITpro, DIO

I can’t put into words how excited I am to be working with these amazing humans. As a FHITpro that has been in the industry for many years and has witnessed various forms of microaggressions, as well as feeling unseen, unheard and unappreciated in fitness spaces, it is a breath of fresh air working with a group whose goal is to address and mitigate these experiences. 

There is a lot of work to be done, but this amazing, multitalented and engaged group of humans that make up the JEDI team are up to the challenge.

Elizabeth “E3” Abend, HR

JEDI means creating, maintaining, and expanding belonging to all humans in the world. I have hope that other organizations will take their cue from us and our efforts so we can cure the systematic racism around the world. It’s important to me because again, I want all humans to feel they belong and it’s important to have a culture that lives up to its company values.

Ben Wegman, FHITpro 

Jedi is about being a leader in the fitness space.  JEDI is acknowledging that fitness is a space for everybody and celebrating that.  JEDI is a space and team of people committed to expanding the boundaries of fitness so that it addresses those often marginalized and left behind and opens the door for their voices and points of view.  

Being a part of JEDI is important to me because it addresses the inequalities I have often found troubling in the fitness world.  Fitness advertising has always centered around the binary of attractive young men and women, leaving so many feeling shut out from the conversation.  JEDI works to address this problem by expanding the doors for what fitness is and who it speaks to.  JEDI is about community, one of the core tenets for Fhitting Room, and being a part of it simply pushes Fhitting Room to constantly expand and grow as a company and community.    

Melody Scharff, FHITpro

According to the “Wookieepedia” (LOL), a Jedi in Star Wars was a guardian of Peace and Justice. I think that’s our goal with this group, too. We want to show on a grand human-to-human level that we are all worthy of the same treatment and deserving of the same privilege. On a more granular level, we want to make Fhitting Room a place where every individual can come and not only feel free to be themselves, but also to encourage unique perspectives.

Justice work is important to me because the more life I live, the more injustices I’ve noticed. Racial injustices, social injustices, and situational injustices. I feel these injustices strongly, and to sit at home feeling sad for others is not a good use of my time. I want to encourage others to feel these same emotions and use them as fuel to drive them to do good. 

Garen McRoberts, FHITpro

Being a part of the JEDI group not only means being committed to doing the right thing, but being a torchbearer in the education, connection and inspiration of ALL humans we interact with within the fitness community.  

This group helps create community; community helps inspire confidence; confidence leads to positive action; positive action leads to change.  

Elizabeth “ET” Truemper,  Head of FHITed

JEDI means a path forward by creating awareness and knowledge to support a better future for all humans. It provides a safe place to learn and grow while connecting with others about important topics to help communities in need. 

Tim Johnson, FHIThost 

JEDI means working together towards effecting long lasting change in our industry and beyond as well as educating not only ourselves but our community on issues that we all face. 

I believe it’s important that we deliver on our promise that Fhitting Room is a safe and inclusive place for all. We’ve said the words, now it’s time for action. 

Liz Benjamin, Chief Operating Officer

JEDI means owning the fact that there is a lot of work to be done in the diversity and equity space and working together in order to learn and take initiative is the best path forward in order to create impactful change. 

My role as a JEDI member is  important because it gives me a space to hold myself accountable, learn from others, and be part of a group that pushes ourselves to promote and ignite change from within. 

Please stay tuned for all the amazing work from this impactful group!

Diversity + Inclusion