For Black History Month, Peloton Makes an Artistic—and Antiracist—Statement

Illustration for article titled For Black History Month, Peloton Makes an Artistic—and Antiracist—Statement
Photo: Peloton

In case you’d somehow missed it, we’re now in Black History Month—and yes, still in a panny. For most of us, it’s now been almost a year spent largely on lockdown, and we’ve all had to pivot repeatedly to adapt. For some of us, the pivot has been literal; for many fitness enthusiasts, Peloton has been a blessing, keeping our at-home fitness routines in motion even when it’s felt like the rest of the world is at a standstill. It goes without saying that this Black History Month hits a little different than the last, but in response to a very challenging year, the fitness brand is expressing its commitment to antiracism through art and investment alike, releasing a one-of-a-kind apparel collection celebrating Black artists across the globe, and launching a major partnership in support of Black mental health.

Per a statement received by The Glow Up:

This year, Peloton is collaborating with four unique Black artists to create 18 custom apparel pieces that honor Black stories. Each creator has their own story to tell, and this collection will serve as a platform to amplify the power of the voices and experiences within the Black diaspora through art. As part of the design process, each artist partnered with 2 Black Peloton Instructors to create artwork that resonates with Peloton’s brand values, as well as with the Black community.

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Peloton’s featured art includes:

  • “Light the Way,” by Nigerian-born multidisciplinary artist Temi Coker (Dallas, Texas), developed alongside instructors Jess Sims and Chelsea Jackson Roberts to capture “the power of education within the Black community.”
  • “Bring Your Whole Self” by self-taught South African lettering artist and designer Hust Wilson, who collaborated with instructors Adrian Williams and Tunde Oyeneyin, “capturing the magnetic personalities of both instructors [thrugh]art that embodies their unique stories, every color and word representing a moment of power or inspiration in their lives.”
  • “United We Move” by Los Angeles-based illustrator Monica Ahanonu, designed with instructors Ally Love and Hannah Frankson. “[E]ach piece represents the beauty that is created when people from varying Black cultures come together to move as one,” says the brand.
  • “Come Into Your Power” by South Carolina illustrator Sanford Greene, who has worked with Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image Comics. In collaboration with instructors Chase Tucker and Alex Toussaint Green’s designs feature “God and Goddess creations that not only embody Black representation at Peloton, but also the power, beauty, strength and wisdom within the Black community.”
Illustration for article titled For Black History Month, Peloton Makes an Artistic—and Antiracist—Statement
Photo: Peloton

Most importantly, Peloton is matching the artistic effort with impact, launching a partnership with The Steve Fund, the largest nonprofit focused on mental health for people of color in the U.S., with a $100,000 investment. Per the brand, “The Steve Fund will develop and deliver urgently needed mental health and emotional well-being resources and programs for young people of color and their families. Beyond Black History Month, Peloton continues to deliver on the Peloton Pledge [launched in June 2020], a $100 million commitment to becoming an antiracist company.”

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Thus far, the Pledge has included a $60 million committed to increase the hourly wages of Peloton’s workforce, $20 million “to improve learning and development programs,” and $20 million “to support nonprofit partners fighting racial injustice,” a January update explained. Further efforts have thus far included expansion of the company’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Team and the appointment of Dr. Christal Morris as Peloton’s new SVP, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“We believe the work of antiracism starts from the inside-out—in order to engage our community in antiracism, we have to look inward at our own workplace,” says the brand.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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