Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)
The MiAND IDEA Committee will actively seek out and implement effective strategies to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Michigan dietetics profession and among the people we serve, including Black/African Americans, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and other disenfranchised groups.
The Academy has revised its title for “Diversity and Inclusion” to “IDEA.” Also, the IDEA Promotion Grant (up to $10,000 funding) is now available on an annual basis with a deadline of March 1.
Project SOAR (Ready to SOAR and rise to reach the goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian) is an Academy IDEA mini-grant program. One of the primary goals of the grant is to promote the profession of dietetics and recruit people of color and other underrepresented students who have an interest in allied health. Project SOAR aims to bring about awareness of the field of nutrition and dietetics as an allied health career option.
Project SOAR is an essential and necessary community grassroots effort for increasing diversity in the profession. It aligns with the Academy’s IDEA action goals two and three and the Strategic Plan Diversity and Inclusion Impact Goal.
Project SOAR provides STEM students of color and other disenfranchised groups who attend middle and high school annual “career” day events with information about the dietetics profession, coursework, and the Academy requirements for becoming a registered dietitian.
You can read more about the details of Project SOAR here.
Read below about Project SOAR events that are happening in Michigan.
The Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion definitions of cultural competence and cultural humility are:
Cultural competence – in health care, the ability of systems to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors, including the tailoring of health care delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural, and linguistic needs (American Hospital Association).
Cultural humility – involves the ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to others) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the client. It requires practitioners to engage in self-reflection and self-critique as lifelong learners.
Diversity in the field of nutrition is important. Diverse and culturally competent Registered Dietitians Nutritionists are able to provide patients/clients with resources and tools that are culturally/ethnically sensitive. This promotes positive nutrition outcomes, without having them sacrifice their culture and traditions (Howard University Department of Nutritional Sciences).
There are valuable benefits that MiAND members can gain by participating in active community outreach and recruitment of middle and high school STEM students of color and other disenfranchised students. It strengthens the cultural competency and humility skills of practicing RD’s, students, and dietetic interns.
It’s our responsibility, if we are providing nutritional services to underrepresented and BIPOC communities, to provide culturally relevant nutritional services. It is time to diversify the profession of dietetics. A strong recruitment undertaking can successfully bring about a more diverse profession.
IDEA Committee Members
- MiAND IDEA Liaison & Grant Developer – Leatta Byrd
- IDEA Grant Consultant – Libby MacQuillan
- Student Liaison – Suzy Gadd
- Virtual Book Club Hosts – Elizabeth Gorney & Lauren Hunt
- Christine Frazier
- Tina Guajardo
- Sara Harmon
- Amanda Latchaw
- Rob Masterson
- Robin Nwankwo
- Arezoo Rojhani
- Eva Van Artsen
- Barbara Vukits
- Lorraine Weatherspoon