Emily Nagel


I was adopted from South Korea when I was a baby. My parents always celebrated my Korean heritage and made efforts to introduce me to aspects of Korean culture, but it was always something that made me feel different when I just wanted to fit in. I think that speaks to the lack of acceptance of  other cultures in the homogeneous Midwestern places where I lived and attended school. I’m passionate about accessibility to dietetics education for BIPOC students, especially because systemic racism is so rampant in healthcare. It’s important for people who seek nutrition guidance to receive that guidance from dietitians who share their culture, both for a deeper establishment of rapport and increased efficacy. I also think that improved courses on diversity and cultural humility for both nutrition students and dietitians are long overdue. Many dietitians are ill-prepared to work with diverse patients in a way that respects the primary diet of another culture.

After the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the lack of response from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, another dietitian (Susan Stalte @nutrigig) and I started a Facebook group called RDs for Change . Our members discuss racism, diversity, and provide resources for education and networking. We honestly just want to see the Academy, the organization we represent every time we practice nutrition, take a stand and become a leader in anti-racism.

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