I welcome you all today with a quote, “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” — Khalil Gibran.
I am humbled to serve as the President of California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 2023-2024. This year is like no other for CA Academy as we celebrate our 100th anniversary! We look back to embrace the work of pioneers in the field who led this organization, and to learn from the past, in its successes and opportunities for growth.
We can only achieve more together. With over 11,000 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists living in California, we have the most RDNs compared to any other state in the nation. Yet, we have one of the lowest participation rates in relation to voting in the Academy elections and completing action alerts to support federal nutrition policies. Less than half of RDNs living in California are members of the CA Academy. Imagine the impact we can make if EVERY dietitian in California was a CA Academy member! We would be more united and make significant gains in passing state legislation, including licensure. With unity comes power – the power to be present, the power to lead, and above all, the power to influence change.
Our main goal this year is to increase participation and membership engagement at the local district/region and state level. We want to hear from YOU! You are the CA Academy. We want you to share your thoughts, vision, and perspective on how we can improve our organization. You can be more involved at the district/region level, by visiting the Membership Dashboard page and contacting your respected district or region leaders. At the CA Academy level, you can join one of our councils or committees by completing the CA Academy Volunteer Form. This is your organization, and I encourage you to help us lead and set the building blocks to further advance our profession.
While we are fortunate to live in one of the most diverse states, CA Academy Executive Board will continue to work tirelessly to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion in our dietetic profession. As a first-generation immigrant, and a member of a minority group in my country of birth and in the US, I understand the importance of representation. Thus, I urge you all to join CA Academy’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (I.D.E.A) Council to help us support students, interns, NDTRs, and dietitians from underrepresented groups and cultivate a culture of equity and inclusion.
I am honored to serve you and our profession. I look forward to hearing from you all and working alongside you to pave the road for another 100 years of success and advancement.
Silva Boumjahed, MS, RDN
California Academy President 2023-2024