Admittedly, my excursion towards becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist has not been consistently filled with unrelenting passion and interest, despite my vested interest in nutrition. I’ve ever recognized the important role nutrition plays in chronic disease prevention and health promotion, but the past few years of my education and training have was noted that my wellness as a Black woman is not a priority to numerous practitioners in the field.
In December 2017, I presented the results of a canvas I conducted as part of my capstone assignment for my master’s degree. While my study included the representatives from a diverse group of racial and ethnic backgrounds to closely mirror the demographic makeup of the American population, the rest of the students in my class presented campaigns where over 90 percent of their members identified as white. I cancel many of them “re kidding the similarity of their sample and quickly moving to the next slide in their presentation, almost as if it were an insignificant afterthought. During such instants, I was not only hyperaware that I was the sole Black student in the chamber, but I was seemingly the only one who attended about conducting an all-inclusive sketch. With yet another microaggression, one student thanked me for adding some diversification to his investigate by being the only Black participant in his survey.
My experience is not unexpected having regard to the racial distribution and prejudices that exist within the Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics leadership and the dietetics profession as a whole. According including the commission on Dietetic Registration Registry Statistics, less than 3 percent of RDNs are Black, and while there seems to be a push by the Academy to increase diversity and inclusion, there are still gaps in practice. I’ve noticed a topic from the classroom to the exam room in this field. There’s not only a disproportionate number of white students and teachers in dietetic platforms, but there’s too a disproportionate sum of lily-white RDNs encountering patients in the hospital who are juxtaposed next to people of color stacking trays in the sub-basement kitchen; this is clear institutionalized racism.
As I’m completing rotations in my dietetic internship, these trends start to take toll on my morale. My passion for healthcare rarely morphs into chagrin over the flagrant ethnic injustices that are being perpetuated in this profession. Every role in health care and in the hospital is essential, but we cannot talk about diversity and inclusion when the conversation on nutrition is being dominated by white RDNs in health clinics, classrooms and conferences.
Nevertheless, “theres been” increases over the years of my practise, and I do recognize that a number of white RDNs are taking the time to learn and thrive when it comes to addressing social injustice within the profession. Notably, there are RDNs in my circle that have made the following efforts to combat this problem 😛 TAGEND
Bringing up the lack of diversity and inclusion in dietetics during sessions instead of remaining silent on the matter. Force simple yet meaningful explanations, such as “I support you” and backing it up with an action plan to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in programmes and/ or workforce. Increasing BIPOC representation on program advisory boards and in leadership characters. Creating exhibitions and/ or webinars that include a diverse group of parties in idols. Participating in diversification, equity and inclusion instruct on topics related to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ populations. Demonstrating the same level of compassion and care to all patients, patients, students, etc.
These endeavors show that ally-ship is most effective when it is not solely performative. Amplifying the marginalized utters of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ stakeholders strengthens the profession and draws a more holistic coming to the practice of nutrition and dietetics; it is not become unnoticed.
Overall, I think there are still strides to be made to truly improve diversity, equity and inclusion in our tenancy, including lowering the educational and training costs to pursue this career itinerary to avoid further gate-keeping privilege, but it’s promising that many RDNs are trying to compile meaningful conversion. It’s time for all Academy ingredients to be represented in spite of the profession’s demographic spread, and that evolution starts with each one of us.
The team behind Food& Nutrition Magazine( r) aims to amplify the enunciates of people of color and other underrepresented individuals in nutrition and dietetics and foreground the experiences of RDNs, NDTRs, dietetic apprentices and nutrition and dietetics students. Our goal is not only to stand in solidarity, but too help inform our books and increase awareness about the importance of diversity in the field of nutrition and dietetics. We know it’s not enough, but we hope it’s a step in the right direction that will support meaningful conferences and a positive change in the professing.
Read more: foodandnutrition.org