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Memorandum of Understanding with National Baptist Convention USA: Reducing Health Disparities, Increasing Numbers of African American RDNs


On January 9, President Ellen R. Shanley, MBA, RDN, CDN, FAND, and Academy Chief Executive Officer Patricia Babjak presented at the National Baptist Convention USA (NBCUSA) midwinter meeting in Birmingham, Ala. More than 250 NBCUSA members attended the Academy presentation. The National Baptist Convention USA, founded in 1886, is the nation’s oldest and largest African American religious convention with more than 31,000 churches and 7.5 million members.

The Academy is working to diversify the workforce, since cultural competency and relatability are the cornerstones for success for motivating people to change dietary patterns and better serve community needs. NBCUSA and the Academy share a very similar vision to accelerate health and well-being through food and nutrition. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Academy President Shanley and NBCUSA President Reverend Dr. Jerry Young. The MOU is aimed at highlighting the impact of food and nutrition on the health of marginalized communities and to create awareness for African Americans to access careers and leadership roles in food and nutrition.

The Academy Board is grateful to Evelyn Crayton, EdD, RDN, LDN, FAND, our representative at NBCUSA, and June M. Thompson, MS, RD, LDN, FAND, the chair of the National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition Member Interest Group. A special thank you to Reverend Dr. Jerry Young and Richard Boykin from Building Bridges in facilitating this strategic partnership.

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