Dear HEDS members,
Juneteenth celebrates Black culture, history and activism while reflecting on the history of emancipation and the ongoing fight toward racial equality. In light of
the continued violence and injustices perpetrated against Black people and against other marginalized communities in the US and around the world, HEDS will not be silent. As human beings, and especially as health care providers who are taught to “do no harm,” it is imperative that we move towards, rather than away from, the trauma, injustices, and pain in these suffering communities. If one of us cannot breathe then none of us can. Maya Angelou writes, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not to be lived again.”
As we take stock of ourselves as a nation and as an organization, we remain committed to growing in our actualization of the principles of justice, peace, equitable access to physical and mental health care, and diversity within the field of eating disorders. Just as our clients require a strong team and courage to achieve recovery, we need a strong and courageous HEDS community in order make our aspirations a reality. As a wise and ancient saying goes, “It is not up to you to finish the work, yet you are not free to avoid it.”
Therefore, we are wanting to share some immediate plans that HEDS is putting in place. The theme for our 2021 professional conference is “Innovations in the Treatment of Eating Disorders” and we will be calling for proposals for presentations that will be inclusive and reflective of our entire community. In addition, we will be forming a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee
and hope that many of our membership will join. The work of this committee will be to strategize, make recommendations to the HEDS board, and help implement intermediate and long-term changes on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion. We are looking for ways to take action! HEDS is encouraging each member to reflect and provide input on the following:
- How can HEDS become more inclusive and accessible to all our members, especially those from marginalized communities?
- What are your ideas on how HEDS can continue to actualize the principles espoused in this letter?
- What can you as a health care provider do to increase service to clients from marginalized communities?
If you are interested in being a part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee or if you would like to share feedback please contact Mara Gittess at [email protected]
Mara Gittess, President of HEDS
Kathy Veath, President Elect
Deb Michel, Past President
Michelle Crow Fee, Parliamentarian
Christina Kontos, Secretary
Laura Wiginton, Treasurer
Terry Fassihi, Education Chair
Jana Rosenbaum, Membership Chair
Morgan Sinclair and Emily Travis – Conference Committee Chairs