The Revolutionary Fitness Academy Advisory Board was recently made aware of allegations by a former RevFit Community Member through an Instagram post on July 10, 2020. Over the past several weeks, the Board has met and begun a process of creating an internal accountability process so that a thorough investigation can be made.
We believe there are two distinct issues that were raised and must be addressed: 1) the claims that the Revolutionary Fitness Executive Director Shawn Garcia has personally engaged in behaviors that violated the trust and safety of a member, and 2) that the Revolutionary Fitness NYC Cooperative has engaged in worker exploitation.
As to the first accusation, we believe in a mediation approach based on the practices of restorative justice is appropriate. We know Shawn has reached out in an effort to arrange such a mediation, but we understand that if there is no desire for such mediation, this is the person's right to not want to engage in it. In any event, the Board thinks it is appropriate that regardless of any mediation that does or does not happen, the Board will extend the investigation beyond this claim to see if there is a pattern of behavior that needs to be addressed.
Shawn understands, as do we, that intent does not necessarily matter when harm is caused, and when one member is harmed, this affects community work and we need to hold each other accountable.
And it is because of this very community that has been created within the RevFit family and grown over the past decade, that we feel we must pursue this in such a manner. Revolutionary Fitness has helped bring about positive change within our communities in terms of our radical approach and beliefs towards the fitness industry powered by one of our fundamental tenets in decolonizing the industry.
As a Board, we pride ourselves on how RevFit has not only created and made space for all but it has been a safe space for people from every walk of life. We have created a space where all voices can be heard and respected. To this end, we will be extending a call for feedback to our entire community. The feedback will be anonymous, and then we will have a neutral 3rd party experienced with mediation help us reconcile any issues that might arise. We will extend an invitation to any members of the community who feel they have been harmed to participate in this restorative practice.
As to the second claim of worker exploitation, the Board has been reviewing the internal financial records of the REvFitNYC Coop. In an effort to be transparent, we will be releasing a comprehensive account of how the finances of this people-funded project are handled, and how compensation is calculated.
The workings of our finances is something every co-op member, along with trainers and staff, are intimately aware of and how they function as our finance reports have always been transparent and in the spirit of greater transparency and solidarity with the community-at-large is why we are making said release.
In the meantime, we ask for everyone's patience as we proceed through these very serious and sensitive claims.
The Revolutionary Fitness Academy Advisory Board
Dr. Shirley Leyro