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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)


Monthly News   

 Call for Speakers for our 2024 Summer CEU Series!  

This year's topic is "Food as Medicine Through a Multicultural Lens." If you are interested in speaking on this topic or would like more information, please use this link to submit your application or to learn more.

MAND IDEA's Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership Scholarship application is now OPEN as of March 1st (until April 17th)! Please use this link to submit your application.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please email Jamie Ekstrom at

Monthly Celebrations and Acknowledgements

RD Spotlight

Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes, MS, RD, CDCES, LDN, NASM-CPT

Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes was recently featured on Hub Today from the NBC 10 Boston News Station for Black History Month. We got to ask her a few questions about her time on TV as well as about Black History Month! Check out some of the details below, and here is the link to see her featured on the news segment,

In regards to this opportunity to feature on HUB Today, Sue-Ellen says, “The title of my segment was ‘Soul Food with a Twist.’ It's a show I watch periodically so I reached out to propose the idea. I provided simple nutrition info to the audience showing them that soul food can be delicious and nutritious. I brought soul food dishes and demonstrated that with a few modifications you can reduce salt, saturated fat and sugar while still maintaining its delicious taste.I shared 360Girls&Women® signature Afro-Caribbean Plantain Collard Green appetizers, Black-eye Peas dip, Collard Greens, Smoked Blackeye Peas, and our Sweet Potato Pie which are all plant- based recipes. In addition, I shared a delicious sorrel that was given to me by a friend and fellow RD.” 

When asked about Black History Month specifically, she had this to say, “I was able to celebrate black history month on NBC10 Boston, HUB Today and that was huge. Why? Because I am a black dietitian and you don’t see many black dietitians on TV. Representation matters and I want someone to say, hey I want to be like her one day. I want to give hope to future dietitians that look like me. This is one way of increasing the diversity in the dietetics field. Getting out in the community to do the work and getting in front of whomever you need to, so they can see that it can be done!” She goes on to say, “My confidence comes from my faith in God and the more I practice and do my homework the better I become. My mother has always commented on how driven I am. Our passions are unique. I want to make a difference in my life, my family’s life and the life of clients and patients. Without health we have nothing and I want all of us to have access to tools to improve our health.” 

To Registered Dietitians of color, she wants you to know, “Keep pursuing your passions, never, I say never give up. It is okay to take breaks, but don’t give up. If you truly believe that the dietetics field is for you, regardless of what others may say, keep going. Get the support you need and keep at it;” and, to students of color pursuing a career in dietetics, “Seek out black dietitian role models and discuss mentorship or some type of support system. Be involved in community service that serves the people, especially those that look like you.”

For more information on Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes, please see our previous blog on her background story here. (



Genocide Awareness Month

"April is observed as Genocide Awareness Month as it is associated with many significant dates related to genocide. The 20th century is often called the "Century of Genocide." Unfortunately, this trend has continued into the 21st century. Many of these tragic events either started in April or have significnat events which happened in April. Some of these include the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambonian Genocide, and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. And so, the month of April has been chosen to raise awareness on protecting the innocent people, prosecuting the tyrants and perpetrators, preventing future atrocities, and also remembering those who have sufferent all around the world."

For more information:


Arab American Heritage Month

"April is National Arab American Heritage Month, a time to recognize Arab Americans' culture, heritage, achievements and contributions to the United States. [...] According to the Arab American Institute, there are approximately 3.7 million Arab Americans living in the U.S. While some people may confuse the terms "Arab" and "Middle Eastern," these words are not interchangeable. Arabs are connected by a shared culture and history, not race. Arab countries include those within as well as outside of the geographical Middle East region such as Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. The Middle East encompassess some non-Arab countries as well, such as Iran, Istael, and Turkey. Each Arab country has its own distinct culture, history and Arabic dialect." 

For more information:


MAND IDEA Recipe Collection!

We are highlighting the unique and diverse foods and customs of our members through the recipes of your fellow MAND members. Check out some of them below! All recipe submissions received by May 1, 2024 will be entered into a drawing to receive a prize that supports local, minority owned businesses, and your recipe could be featured on the MAND IDEA webpage! Click here to Submit! 

See below for examples of recipes that have been submitted in the past! 

Academy Diversity and Inclusion Statement


The Academy encourages inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) by striving to recognize, respect and include differences in ability, age, creed, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, size, and socioeconomic characteristics in the nutrition and dietetics profession.

The Pledge of Professional Civility

To help foster camaraderie among our professional community and encourage constructive engagement among peers, Food & Nutrition Magazine® — published by the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — has developed a voluntary Pledge of Professional Civility, guiding principles and related resources:

The Pledge of Professional Civility

  • I pledge to demonstrate respect to my colleagues and all others.
  • I pledge to support constructive dialogue and positive engagement.
  • I pledge to discourage the public belittling of my colleagues, even when we do not agree.
  • I pledge to model professional conduct in all my public communications and actions.

Guiding Principles

The basic tenets that any professional — irrespective of expertise, area of practice or personal values — should adopt as principles of conduct in public forums, including social media, are to 1) demonstrate respect, 2) encourage constructive dialogue, 3) discourage public belittling of colleagues, and 4) model professionalism.  Read more about each of these guiding principles, take the Pledge of Professional Civility yourself, and see who else in the Academy has taken the Pledge! 

Pledge of Professional Civility - Food & Nutrition Magazine (food

Past IDEA Spotlights 

Chinese New Year Taro Cake Recipe submitted by Quynh Tu, RD, LDN, CDCES

Language Barriers and Healthcare Access with Quynh Tu, RD, LDN, CDCES

AAPI Month 2022 Spotlight with Wendy Ng, RDN, LDN

AAPI Month 2021 Spotlight with Rosalinda Sar

Asian American Diabetes Initiative Spotlight with Ka Hei Karen Lau, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES

Arab American Heritage Month Spotlight with Norah Ismail, MS, RD, LDN

Middle Eastern DEI Spotlight with Reem Bou-Nacklie

Black History Month Spotlight with Sue-Ellen Anderson Haynes, MS, RDN, CDCES, LDN, NASM-CPT

DEI Spotlight with Jay Patruno, RD, LDN, CPT

The Less Traveled Path at MAND with Quynh Tu, RD, LDN, CDCES

Celebrate Your Roots with Shennie Quintanilla, MS, RD, LDN

IDEA Resources

Nutrition for LGBTQIA+ individuals

“Through inclusive care practices, an RDN can help LGBTQIA+ individuals make informed food choices and help manage a condition or disease with nutrition. For the month of June, in celebration of Pride Month, the Academy’s Council on Research has curated a collection of freely available JAND articles on nutrition for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Update your knowledge and share nutrition research!”

IDEA Leader Training 

"The Academy is pleased to offer a leader specific self study IDEA training good for 1.5 CEUs, free to academy members. This activity is designed to educate leaders on the key components of the inclusion, diversity, equity, and access impact goals and provide leaders with the tools and resources to create IDEA action plans that will advance the Academy’s IDEA goals."

Click here to find out more and sign up! 

About Us

The IDEA Committee, originally called the Diversity Committee, established itself in the organization in 2016. The committee is funded by the annual Diversity Mini Grant from the Academy (see here). Activities include monthly meetings, community outreach, CEU event planning, working with MDEF on diversity scholarships, and awarding free student AND memberships. In the past six years, committee members and volunteers have completed 2 to 5 events each year, outreached to about 400 students in four different counties within Massachusetts, awarded diversity scholarships totalling 10 students pursuing dietetics education, and each year have granted up to 15 free student AND memberships.

State Professional Recruitment Coordinator/Diversity Liaison

  • Chair 2023-2024:Jamie Ekstrom
  • Chair-Elect 2023-2024: Christine Sinclair 
  • Previous Chair 2022-2023: Susan Hazarvartian 


MAND IDEA 2023-2025 Strategic Plan 

  • Develop yearly CPEU educational opportunities on topics of inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and cultural competence.
  • Stimulate member learning and engagement on the MAND IDEA webpage through networking, events, IDEA resources, monthly celebrations and acknowledgements, student spotlights, recipes highlighting the unique foods and customs of MAND members, free student academy memberships, and IDEA and MDEF scholarships.
  • Highlight and support the diversity of our members and their accomplishments.
  • Strengthen and empower academy students and dietetic interns to be future leaders emphasizing commitment to and promotion of IDEA.
  • Increase awareness of the nutrition and dietetics profession by communicating through schools, career fairs, and other venues composed of diverse groups of individuals.
  • Support leadership development and promote member service utilization. 

We Welcome All

We invite all voices to contribute and be heard, or to simply reach out for learning opportunities. If you would like to learn more about our committee or would like to participate, please contact:

Jamie Ekstrom -

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President's Welcome

Hello friends,

April brought a whirlwind of activity with ANCE on April 5th and Day on the Hill (DOTH) on April 8th!

With “food as medicine” front and center in the healthcare crisis today, we were thrilled to host Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the leading global experts on this topic as our keynote speaker!

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Funded MS or PhD Graduate student Fully funded graduate assistantships for RDNs or RDN-eligible students in a full-time MS or PhD program in Health Promotion Sciences beginning fall 2024 at the University of Connecticut. Successful.. Read more >

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MDEF Scholarships

For 2024, MDEF will be giving out two MDEF scholarships and one MDEF Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) scholarship to deserving nutrition students, each in the amount of $1500. Please pass along to any nutrition students or interns who may be eligible to apply!

All applications are due by May 31st