Mashouf Wellness Center hosts Wellness In Color event


Tahjai Chan

Brittney Holloman, Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at Mashouf Wellness Center, explaining more into depth about her presentation on “Black Wellness” on Feb. 27th, 2020. (Tahjai Chan / Golden Gate Xpress)

Whitney Papalii

Mashouf Wellness Center held a Wellness in Color presentation featuring the center’s very own fitness and wellness coordinator, Brittney Holloman to shed light on the lack of health and wellness resources and access provided for the black community. 

 Holloman has been working at Mashouf Wellness Center since May of last year. The presentation addressed issues on the lack of representation and access for black people within the realm of fitness and health. 

“It’s a structured area where you feel open and safe,” said Holloman. “These presentations allow for safety and feeling as though we can express what we truly want to.”

As a child, Holloman was very inspired by watching her mother compete as a bodybuilder which heavily influenced her interest in health and weight lifting. As a college student, Holloman then got more involved with health by going to the rec center and eventually pursuing her masters and becoming a trainer.

“Bodybuilding is very much a small community,” said Holloman. “But when you’re little and you see your mom on stage it’s like ‘Oh my God, that’s my mom!”

Ciara Whitefell, a kinesiology major at SF State and part-time front desk receptionist at a gym, said she has noticed the lack of representation of black people at her job and within sports.

“I would say that there is very little representation,” said Whitefell when speaking about her own experiences as an athlete. “I’ve played sports my whole life. I played softball and probably the entire time I played, over 15 years, there were maybe three black people on my team.”

In her master’s program, Holloman said she researched and discovered that her own personal experiences were valid on the prevalence of the lack of inclusivity within weightlifting towards both women and the black community. 

Hollomon’s master’s program research only further validated her own personal experiences on the lack of inclusivity toward both women and the black community within weightlifting. 

“It did show me a lot about the reasons as to why I felt the way that I did,” Holloman said. “That I wasn’t crazy and that this is actually a thing. So my goal is to show people that I am passionate about being well, but this is how you are able to do it as well.”

Holloman previously worked at Ohio University and said that she realized she wanted to move back home on the West Coast to make more of an impact in California. 

 “I’m very much into social justice and advocating for people that have less of a voice,” said Holloman. “And it was really hard to do that in Ohio. It’s very intimidating to do, and I think I was very eager to come back to a place where my own voice was received differently.”

 In addition to the various presentations and workshops offered, Holloman provides fitness programming at Mashouf to help students and faculty reach their personal health and wellness goals.

“I need to stay educated,” said Holloman when explaining her process of training various people. “It’s important that I am always reading and it’s important that I’m constantly a student.”