*You are not alone. Our blog series, Motherhood Untold, tells the stories of real moms navigating motherhood's struggles, triumphs, and challenges.
Motherhood Untold: Becoming the Change
FIT4MOM x Danyette Young
As a company that values love and inclusivity, we take a stand to support and welcome all moms, regardless of disabilities, gender identity, religion, sex, socioeconomic, marital status, and ethnic background.
Moreover, we know that real, meaningful change comes through action, and we are committing to listening, learning, and educating our franchisees, instructors, and communities nationwide on ways we can do better and impact real change in our communities. To read more about the FIT4MOM Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, click here.
In this installment of Motherhood Untold, we hear from Danyette Young, a former FIT4MOM franchisee turned Home Office employee. Danyette discusses her experience, impact, and influence as a Black woman and mother in the FIT4MOM community.
I am the happy wife of my Lucas, proud mom of three kiddos: Matthew (24), Kailey (18), and my little Christopher (10), and fur mom to our Nala. I am a former FIT4MOM franchisee, where I proudly led my local village for 6 and a half years. I now love working for our Home Office, supporting and coaching our greater franchise network nationwide. It’s been a long journey to get here–I have been a part of the FIT4MOM family for over 15 years! I went from client to instructor to franchisee, which led me to where I am today: working at Home Office, co-leading our Diversity Committee, and serving on our Franchise Advisory Council. I also think it's important to note that I am one of the few Black women within our FIT4MOM organization.
… The last one might have you thinking “why did she add that in”? But, the truth is that I’m proud of my Black heritage and honored to share my experience and lens with our FIT4MOM village and the world!
FIT4MOM is the national leader in pre and postnatal fitness and wellness and we cannot wear that badge proudly if we are not continuously diversifying ourselves, educating ourselves, and learning from others so we can create safe, welcoming inclusive spaces for moms not only at every stage of motherhood but from every race, religion, and background in motherhood.
I truly believe that the culture, stories, contributions, and voices of the Black community are a bigger lens into the American story and should be taught, celebrated, acknowledged, and recognized each and every day as Black history is American history. FIT4MOM is actively working towards this goal and is growing and evolving each and every day.
We try to truly learn about, study, and honor the contributions of Black people in America, not only those who are well-known and have paved so many roads for all of us, but also the current generations of Black people making a difference in the world every single day. We read together as a family, highlighting black writers, artists, advocates, and more. We visit museums, monuments, and special places with a rich history.
We are pretty fortunate to live less than an hour from our Nation’s Capital so we have many places to choose from and try to explore a few new ones each year. A few of our favorites are the beautiful African American Smithsonian museum, Frederick Douglass House, the Dr. Martin Luther King monument, the Great Blacks in Wax (locally owned and operated by a black couple in Baltimore—their story and desire to educate people on the rich history and historical importance of Black Americans is worth researching and learning about), and right in our back yard is the Benjamin Banneker estate.
My cousin is an artist and paints beautiful murals in and around Washington, D.C. and we love taking our kids to see her work. I encourage all families to take some time to read, explore and learn about the contributions of Black people this month and every month. Celebrating diversity, cultures and each other unites us and can help us realize our differences aren’t so different at all. It makes us stronger, better, and more compassionate mothers.
ON THE FUTURE
Thinking about the future is part of why I love what I do and why I love FIT4MOM. Our founder, Lisa Druxman, started this company over 20 years ago as a way to help all moms find their Strength In Motherhood. As the company grew and our franchisees created safe spaces for moms to gather, work out, and support each other, Lisa and FIT4MOM saw that we needed to expand our learnings in order to *truly* support and hold space for #allthemoms. We are on a mission to be a more diverse and inclusive brand.
We are starting by celebrating Black history, learning and unlearning, and working with organizations that support this mission. We are focused on learning how to best support Black, Brown, and other minority moms, teaching our teams, franchisees, instructors, and employees why diversity looks different to many but is important to all, and working together to truly help every mom see a safe space for herself at FIT4MOM. Whether she chooses us or not, we want her to know she is welcome here, will be celebrated here, will be loved here, will not be judged here, and will be safe to be herself here. Even though we still have a lot to learn and far to go, we will not stop until all moms are represented, supported, and seen in our spaces.
If you take just one thing from this post, my hope is that you will honor and respect black struggles, triumphs, challenges, and contributions and realize that this should be part of our everyday.
We are so thankful to Danyette for being so open and vulnerable about her experiences! We so appreciate your insight and your experiences as we move forward toward a more inclusive future.
If you're looking to help support equality and inclusion for #allthemoms, check out our Unity Crew sweatshirts! FIT4MOM will donate 20% of crewneck sales (February and March 2023) to Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) is a Black women-led alliance centered on changing the culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice. They envision a world where Black mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy.