The University of Minnesota diversity center hosted multiple “student of color” fitness classes intended for students who want to “take up space in places historically known to be predominantly white.”
The University of Minnesota’s Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence hosted two fitness classes for nonwhite students in conjunction with the Recreation and Wellness Center.
There is also an upcoming event called “BIPOC Community Climb Day.” The adjective “BIPOC” stands for “black, indigenous, people of color.”
The center hosted a similar climb day, which was instead oriented towards “women, femmes, and non-binary,” last year.
The Multicultural Center Director Fernando Rodriguez told the Minnesota Daily that “It’s hard for students who are first-generation students of color who are already feeling isolated to go into the big rec center and then ask for help.”
The Minnesota Daily, the school’s newspaper, also reported that “Terra Brister, interim assistant director of holistic student support, said the classes are an important way for students of color to take up space in places historically known to be predominantly white, such as the gym.”
“I hope by offering these classes that students of color will feel more comfortable exploring different forms of wellness and working out,” Brister also remarked.
The University of Minnesota is not the first academic institution to host racially focused workout events. Cornell University, for example, previously offered a rock climbing course “for people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color.” The school eventually allowed white students to attend the rock climbing course after facing media backlash.