Improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: A Message from the Academy's President and CEO

06/05/2020 - Systemic racism is not acceptable. Our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity has never been more important and urgent. You are our priority. You are asking for more and you told us that the Academy can do better: We agree. Integrity, social responsibility and diversity are our core values. We are committed to listening to you, learning and making changes.

Here are actions the Academy has begun taking right now:

  • Listening … Your voice must be heard. We will listen to all points of view. Tell us your thoughts on what the Academy and the nutrition and dietetics profession need to do to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the short term and long term. Help us create solutions. Specifically, what can we do in the next three months; the next year; and the next five years?
  • Sharing … Providing resources and information related to diversity and inclusion and offering cultural competency and diversity webinars with free CPE
  • Working … With organizations such as the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education to strengthen and grow allied health education programs, including nutrition and dietetics, at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions
  • Advocating … Public policy initiatives through strategic relationships with Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus to address disparities and inequity to secure funding for improved and expanded access and delivery of nutrition and dietetics services
  • Addressing … Food security and access to medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases that disproportionately affect communities of color; and collaborating with the Congressional Black Caucus on the second annual (virtual) Nutrition and Health Equity Summit in August
  • Pursuing … Funding to increase minority workforce capacity and resources to improve access to culturally competent nutrition counseling, education and community outreach in communities of color
  • Collaborating … With the Academy's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and its Strategic Planning Task Force, as well as Affiliates, DPGs and MIGs, and the organization Diversify Dietetics, on initiatives to improve communication and to provide access to scholarships and mentoring
  • Highlighting … Diverse Academy members and amplifying their unique and real-world experiences with the diverse populations and communities they serve
  • Growing … The Foundation's Diversity and Inclusion scholarships
  • Directing … DPGs and MIGs to accelerate efforts to create culturally relevant materials.

Today, with our country in turmoil, Academy members are speaking up, identifying problems, presenting ideas and offering to be a part of the solution. Thank you!

Please know we are listening to you, learning from you and are committed to doing more to create real, sustained change. We are better and stronger together. Especially now, it can surely be said: The Academy is its members.

Linda T. Farr, RDN, CSOWM, LD, FAND
President, 2020-2021

Patricia M. Babjak
Chief Executive Officer