I am sure you have seen recent news stories, blog postings and videos — some quoting Academy members, a few written and produced by registered dietitian nutritionists — concerning the Academy and issues of diversity and inclusion. I am deeply saddened by the stories regarding the negative treatment our colleagues have experienced, and we all have much to learn from the experiences of those who have been affected by systemic racism and any type of biased injustice. They have asked the Academy’s leaders to listen and support them, and we are committed to doing just that.
To our BIPOC colleagues: Please know your voices are being heard, and that the Academy’s Board of Directors is strongly committed to pursuing diversity, equity and inclusion. These are not just words. The Board and our organizational units are working to create lasting change under the framework of IDEA: Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility. I appreciate the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee members and all Academy organizational units. This work is ongoing, and we must all realize it will not be a quick fix.
I encourage you to take the time to read about the many Academy efforts that are already underway.
We entered this field because we are caring and passionate people, wanting only the best for our patients, clients, families and our organization. The Academy is all of us, and we grow as a profession and organization when all of us are respectfully listening, asking questions, exchanging ideas, having fierce conversations with one another, developing plans and taking well thought-out steps to overcome past, current and future challenges.
There is no doubt we love our profession. Working together is the only way our concentrated efforts will achieve the results we want and being a part of the solution is the only way that we will create a stronger and more diverse profession.
As 2020 draws to a close, I am humbled and grateful to serve as your president. With all that is going on in the world today, I always have hope for a better tomorrow. With kindness, I offer you my best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday.
Thank you very much!
Linda T. Farr, RDN, CSOWM, LD, FAND