Celebrating Cultural Diversity for Development

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

– Maya Angelou

May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. In December 2002, the United Nations sanctioned this date to be an international holiday for the promotion of diversity issues. This special day provides an opportunity to deepen understanding of the significance of cultural diversity. 

Recognizing and celebrating cultural diversity has many benefits, notably for sustainable development. Especially in the fitness industry – where there are so many talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures who have different areas of knowledge, expertise, and experience. We need more opportunities to celebrate and honour diverse representation in fitness. Cultural diversity strengthens and supports our fitness businesses and communities from all levels–on the gym floor with trainers and instructors, in our branding, marketing and communications and of course in the leadership of clubs, studios and companies.

As a driver for innovation, cultural diversity can lead to many positive returns from economic, social, and personal growth and development. By accepting and recognizing our differences, we can bridge cultural gaps and develop deeper awareness, tolerance, and respect for the uniqueness of others. This will support development towards greater peace, stability, and unity by helping us overcome stereotypes and promoting mutual understanding. In working with those who come from different cultural backgrounds, we develop expanded and alternative perspectives on situations and issues to gain a richer, more informed, and more rewarding, learning experience. In business, diverse teams are more innovative at coming up with solutions and producing successful results. While diversity can mean feeling uncomfortable more often than familiar, it achieves better results in the long run. While we realize the urgency and necessity of cultural diversity and dialogue, there is still much work and learning that needs to happen in this area.

At canfitpro we believe diversity is our competitive advantage and we are committed to fostering positive social change by celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion. We’re never satisfied with the status quo. Our ongoing efforts are towards bridging gaps through learning and growth, and ensuring that the voices of the unheard, be heard.

In 2021 we adopted a new company core value – “Caring Community,” – to show our commitment to and encouragement for cultural diversity and dialogue. Through this value we celebrate diversity by encouraging our associates to “treat each other with respect, equity and caring everyday. We support an environment made up of unique backgrounds, where everyone can feel welcome and belong, be their authentic self, comfortably share their ideas, and thrive no matter their race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and body type. Diversity is our competitive advantage!”

This month we launched a much anticipated brand-new Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) webpage to share this important work with canfitpro members and community. This was an exciting achievement for the canfitpro D&I Committee and a major milestone for our company. Over the past seven months since the D&I Committee began working together at canfitpro we have seen tremendous growth and transformation within, throughout and even beyond our organization. Visit the D&I webpage to learn about our exciting initiatives for creating positive social change through our network and influence in the industry. This webpage has three major components and intentions – commitment, community, and content. This is a space for canfitpro to show our company’s commitment to advancing and discussing important topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is also a space we invite you to join us and our community in this conversation. You will find relevant and informative content and resources such as blogs, magazine articles, and webinars to support your own learning about ways to influence and inspire positive change as well as what canfitpro is doing. We are constantly updating our content with new and interesting insights and information and encourage you to revisit this page often!

Ultimately, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde. Take a moment right now to go check out our brand-new D&I webpage to recognize, celebrate and join the dialogue on diversity today!

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Emily Dobrich works at canfitpro and as a group fitness instructor. Her limitless enthusiasm for fitness and learning has helped her to establish herself as highly experienced and multi-talented fitness professional and educator with bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and kinesiology and a Master of Education in adult learning and global change. Emily loves sharing her knowledge, experience and passion for health, fitness, education and community development through teaching, writing, and presenting and finds the greatest fulfilment in creating and contributing to fostering positive, empowering, and inclusive communities where everyone feels connected, supported, and has boundless opportunities to thrive.