As an organization, we are only as strong as our members. CPSDA’s mission is to create leaders who elevate the profession of sports nutrition through ethical, science-based, cutting-edge care. Our core values include respect, integrity, excellence, community, and growth-mindset. These values can only be brought to life through a membership who is ethical, inclusive, and acting as leaders not only in their organizations, but in their communities.
Over the last week, we have been listening, learning and processing what we have heard from Black voices across our country, and asking ourselves, “how can CPSDA do better?”. We have taken time to listen and reflect to come up with an actionable response to the racialized events in our country.
CPSDA wholeheartedly condemns racism and the systemic injustice that has been so deeply rooted in our country. We stand with the Black community in the fight against racism and for equality, because Black lives matter. With these sentiments as our driving force, we choose to be advocates for change by aggressively pursuing three areas; diversity, inclusion and equity.
We seek to increase diversity within our organization and throughout the profession with a commitment to supporting increased enrollment of Black students in dietetic internships. We recognize that tuition is often a barrier to enrollment in dietetic internships and therefore will establish one scholarship to be awarded to a Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC) dietetic intern each year, with preference given to Black applicants when qualifications and hardship are equal. The purpose of this new scholarship is to create an opportunity for a CPSDA member and aspiring sports dietitian to pursue their career goal, who otherwise may not have the financial means to enroll in a dietetic internship.
We recognize a lack of opportunity for Black voices to be heard within our organization and seek to be more inclusive of our members of color, who bring different insight, expertise and experiences. We will be hosting an open forum conversation*, inviting our members to speak freely to identify blind spots they see within CPSDA and how they believe CPSDA can better serve its minority members. After this discussion, we hope to see leaders emerge to form a working group that can offer ideas and educate the Board of Directors on the needs and concerns of our Black colleagues and athletes, and how we can take on initiatives for CPSDA and sports RDs to be more inclusive. We look forward to these conversations and resulting initiatives moving forward.
To create equity in our practice, we will revisit our educational resources to ensure they reflect the range of diversity within the athletes and programs our members serve. We commit to reviewing our educational curriculum and adjusting for identified microaggressions and omissions to allow for sensitivity and awareness to individuality. Additionally, we are committed to aligning with organizations that not only support our goals, but offer additional support and networking opportunities to enable our members to be lifelong learners on racial equity.
In committing to do better, we recognize that this is only the first step in a long journey to bring about long overdue change. We encourage all of our members to continue to listen, learn, and discuss, and challenge you to answer and ask hard questions. For those who have felt these conversations hit the closest to home, we hope that you will get involved with helping us grow and that you will lean on your CPSDA family for support and encouragement. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon and we must rely on each other to provide the fuel for endurance.
Your CPSDA Board of Directors