Hirabayashi: “Build inclusion from the ground up. From valuing and incorporating different experiences and backgrounds on your team, to thinking about how every touchpoint with your brand or product can be more inclusive, to the types of partners, or vendors you work with. One of the biggest disservices to true inclusion is when companies view creating a more representative and inclusive culture as a side project or separate lane. To really do the work, leadership has to view, and act on, inclusion being at the core of your company culture and mission.”
Shine has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement, why is this important right now?
Lidey: “To us, saying Black Lives Matter or supporting the movement is not a political statement, it’s not a point of view and it’s not a campaign. As a company that’s fought for representation and inclusion since our founding, and a team that’s 80 percent BIPOC and 30 percent Black— supporting BLM is about using our platform and our privilege to fight for our lives, and the lives of our community.
How has the Shine community reacted to this support?
Lidey: “As a community that over-indexes for Black women, our members often share with us how much it means that we are speaking specifically to Black mental health challenges. In an industry where less than 5 percent of therapists are Black, almost all meditation apps are voiced by white people, and most media still perpetuates a largely Eurocentric view of wellness—it’s no wonder that we are tired of not seeing our stories and experiences represented.”
Lidey: “We believe that to change the global mental health landscape, the single most important thing we can do is be specific about the intersectionalities of mental health, and right now there needs to be more of a focus than ever on Black mental health.”
While the founders strive to showcase representation on their app and work culture, they also work to highlight others that want to provide fair and accessible mental health care to the BIPOC community too. In honor of BIPOC Mental Health month, Shine is donating 20 percent of all premium subscriptions and gift cards to four non-profit organizations—Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM), National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness and Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness. It gives these non-profits a chance to bridge the gap Lidey and Hirabayashi have been working on for four years now.
The app is free to download. But, if you want to tap into more stories, sounds and meditations, they do offer two subscription options—$12 per month or $54 per year—to give you unlimited access.
Download on IOS, Android