From 2010 to 2011, I have the privilege of being selected as one out of four diversity leaders nationwide. To my excitement I never thought I would be selected out of 25-50 candidates. It is weird but you always feel that it would be someone else but not you. That is why I decide to apply for this position to make myself feel that I do deserve this honor. Now I realize that I am a great chosen candidate for this position. But when I applied for this position I ask myself what is the Diversity Leader Program. Well this is the quoted version for the American Dietetic Association:
“The Diversity Leaders Program is designed to assist individuals from underrepresented groups to advance in leadership throughout the organization at the local, state, practice and national level. This accelerated leadership program will introduce the participants to multiple opportunities throughout the Association where their skills and interests can contribute to the advancement of the profession.”
American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference Expo
I had the chance to go the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference Expo in Boston, MA in November 2010. This was also the time that I got induced as one of the Diversity Leaders and had the chance to meet with the Diversity Committee. It was an excellent opportunity in meeting the persons who selected you and a chance to thank them. I finally had the chance to meet the one who was in charge of the program which is Karen Lechowich. What a sweet and caring lady.
The Beauty of Boston
Every place I visit I make sure I do a historical ethnic tour where I learn about the culture of the neighborhood and how it came to begin. While I was in Boston for the American Dietetic Association – Food and Nutrition Conference I had a chance to do some sightseeing. One place that particularly caught my eye was the The African American History Museum.
It is one of the oldest bulidings in the country that was made by African American for African Americans.
The Washington DC Experience
In February 2011 as part of begin diversity leader of the American Dietetic Association I had the privilege of going to the Public Policy Workshop in Washington DC. Prior to the conference I arrived to stay at the hotel and decided to do some sightseeing. I had lived in DC for 9 years before moving back to New York. While living in DC I loved to visit the public museums especially the National Smithsonian African Art Museum. I loved the intriguing art work there especially from the different regions and countries in Africa. I remember while in high school I took an African Studies course where I had to memorize every country, natural resources, language, dialect, ethnicity, kingdoms and tribes and the list goes on and on. This class made me appreciates who I am as an African-American and that I have a history.
American Dietetic Association Public Policy Workshop (ADAPAC)
The American Dietetic Association Public Policy Workshop (otherwise known as ADAPAC) which is a 3 day session seminars and workshops was held in Washington, DC on February 6th-8th 2011. The sessions were tailored for beginners who may need to refresh or learn basic advocacy skills and get public policy training as well as sessions for seasoned, advanced advocates who want more in-depth information. Begin a diversity leader I had the privilege of listening to some great speakers explaining about the issues that Registered Dietitians should know about and support.
The Medical Foods Equity Act Platform
One of the session presentations made me appreciate how the ADA is supporting a very personal live saving bill which is The Medical Foods Equity Act – “Reducing Health Disparities”. Two incredible brave women from the National PKU Alliance – Christine S. Brown – Executive Director and Kristen Vanagas – Advocacy Volunteer spoke about the challenges that they have raising PKU children and what this bill can help children and adults with this illness. Both of theses ladies had astonishing stories to tell but one in particular that stuck in my mind was the woman who could not afford to purchase the medical foods. Her health deteriorated so rapidly that once she was able to receive the medical foods she could not function the same as she did before.