The Fall 2020 virtual House of Delegates (HOD) Meeting: A Systems Approach to Accelerating Nutrition and Health Equity, was held October 15-16, 2020. Delegates prepared for the meeting by reading and viewing relevant background information. Pre-meeting outreach to constituents was not conducted, but rather will take place after the HOD meeting.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a complex and multifaceted critical issue that needs to be addressed by our profession. This topic affects nutrition and dietetics practitioners and students across all practice areas.  Using a systems approach, the dietetics profession will seek to maximize and leverage opportunities to accelerate nutrition and health equity.  The HOD will devote the 2020-21 program year to dialogue and suggest action addressing various aspects of this issue. While the D&I Committee focuses on the Academy’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access (IDEA) initiatives to support the nutrition and dietetics workforce, the HOD will address opportunities to advance nutrition and health equity for the individuals and populations we serve. In collaboration with the D&I Committee, the House Leadership Team (HLT) identified Accelerating Nutrition and Health Equity as the focus for the Fall 2020 HOD meeting.

Goals, Agenda, and Dialogue
A goal of the meeting was to develop a list of feasible actions and tools that Delegates can become involved in and share with their organizational units and membership to promote grassroots efforts that will continue throughout the year ahead. The House Leadership Team (HLT) developed a robust meeting agenda that included an update from the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee and a series of sessions with expert speakers in the areas of cultural humility, cultural competence, and implicit bias, and nutrition and health equity. CA Academy Delegates participated in dialogue sessions that explored three key impact areas: Communications /Advocacy, Grassroots Efforts/Community, and Research. Key questions discussed included:

  • What are the guiding principles that should be included in an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics cultural humility tool for members?
  • What else do we need to know to inform the issue of nutrition and health equity?
  • What actions or tools need to be created to accelerate nutrition equity?
  • What are the key messages for this topic we want to communicate to constituents?

In the weeks ahead, the HOD dialogue notes and outcomes will be reviewed by the HLT. The outcomes of the meeting will be shared with the D&I Committee to inform any future work and will also be shared with Delegates and our constituents.

Finally, Delegates were informed of the newly established HOD Member Interest Group (MIG) Task Force. This task force is charged with determining how to best support MIG representation in the HOD to increase diversity. This task force launched in October 2020 and will complete its charge by the end of January 2021.