Archive for March 9, 2016

A Letter from Inner City Weightlifting

Posted in Uncategorized on March 9, 2016 by mboyle1959

Dear ICW Supporter,

Our brains are wired to quickly categorize people and situations to help us navigate a complex, and at times, dangerous world. For example, if we see a group of young people standing together in a so called “rough” area of a city, who look different, dress different, have years of trauma expressed in their eyes, most will cross the street to avoid them. Our instincts are powerful and clear on this point: there’s a threat to our safety.

But, what happens if our most fundamental instincts are wrong? What if young people involved in gangs are not a threat to our social fabric, but rather a potential source of community strength, what if they are the people who can bring us together? What if we should be working not to avoid, or to neutralize, but instead to engage as future leaders, as fellow community members, as friends?

Over the last year we began research into the system that leads to street violence:

Individuals like myself are born into a family/community with connections and opportunity. Almost without thinking, we go to school, that’s where our friends are, that’s what we’re told to do. We then leverage an education to find a meaningful career. We start a family – born into the same network of opportunity. Our students, however, are born into families/communities that are segregated and isolated. Unlike myself, they need to worry about shelter, food, clothes. They go to the streets. That’s where their friends are, that’s how they provide. Rather than leveraging an education to find a meaningful career, they find themselves in jail. They start a family – born into the same segregation and isolation.

Segregation and isolation are at the root of this system. It’s what creates the need for the streets, which then creates a perception of “rough areas” where we’re told not to go. Thus, leading to more segregation and isolation, and leading to more violence and inequality.

We can, however, disrupt this system of segregation through inclusion, hope and opportunity. In fact, in response to trust, hope, inclusion, and economic mobility, in that order, we have seen a population nearly 100% likely to go back to jail, drop to less than 15% in response to those 4 pillars.

This is what happens at ICW, and by training with us, you get to be a part of the solution, all while getting an incredible service.

In the last year, we’ve seen our student numbers grow to over 160, we opened a second site in Kendall Square and of the students training there, their average monthly incomes jumped from $600/month to over $2,000!

A group of marketing experts at Arnold Worldwide found that when it comes to combining fitness and philanthropy, ICW is a “category of 1.”

We encourage you to be a part of this impact, to help us spread the word and get others involved by coming to our gyms.

If you’re interested in our training services, or to sign your company up for our onsite corporate training services, contact:

To make a contribution, please click here.

Thank you for all your support, and we hope to see you in the gym soon!


Jon Feinman, MBA
Founder and CEO
InnerCity Weightlifting