My name is Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND. I am a doctor in clinical nutrition. Professionally, working as a nutrition expert in the media has been a passion of mine since graduation. My other passion is teaching, and I am currently working in combining both by creating an Instagram account and a blog to help other dietitians grow their online presence (@evolvingdietitians). I am also an Academy spokesperson and an adjunct professor. In terms of struggles, I have faced some of the same issues many others in my culture have faced. I only have my sister living near me; thus, childcare is difficult, especially if there is an unexpected change in my schedule. Financial struggles are frequent in my culture, as there is often less family support available. If my parents lived here, since they are bot h professionals, they could have helped me more financially during my undergraduate program and my internship. This is the reason why I believe we need to create more scholarships to minorities. However, I mostly feel that speaking Spanish has created opportunities for me.
I honestly feel that I live in a bubble as 70% of people living in Miami are Hispanics, thus universities in the area are culturally competent for my minority group. Other minorities are severely underrepresented. However, our profession could improve the process to be more diverse and inclusive. We overall need to help minorities with scholarships for college and for the internship. We also need to provide minorities with work opportunities to make them competitive enough to secure a spot as dietetic interns. Until minorities have the opportunity to be students and interns, no amount of education in cultural competency will create a more diverse and inclusive profession.
By definition, Hispanic Serving Institutions – or HSIs – are colleges or universities where Hispanic students comprise at least 25% of the full-time equivalent student body, and registered with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. They are certified by the Department of Education.
Arizona: Arizona State University: Bachelor of Science in Dietetics Northern Arizona University: Bachelor of Science in Dietetics University of Arizona: Professional Science Masters in Dietetics
California: California State University:Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Dietetics and Food Administration, Option in Nutrition and Dietetics University of California: Bachelor of Science in Dietetics California State Polytechnic University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics Option San Diego University: Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition San Francisco State University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics San Jose State University: Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science with a Concentration in Dietetics
Colorado: University of Colorado: Bachelor of Sciences in Health Care Sciences -Nutrition Option ** last offered in Spring 2023 Metropolitan State University of Denver: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics Colorado State University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science
Florida: Nova Southeastern University: Bachelor of Sciences in Nutrition Keiser University: Distance Dietetic Internship Keiser University: Coordinated Nutrition Program Florida International University: Dietetic Internship Florida International University: Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition Hillsborough Community College: Dietetic Technician Program
Illinois: University of Illinois at Chicago: Coordinated Nutrition Program Northern Illinois University: Dietetic Internship Northern Illinois University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics and Wellness Dominican University: Coordinated Program Dominican University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Nevada: University of Nevada Las Vegas: Dietetic Internship University of Nevada Las Vegas: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Sciences Truckee Meadows Community College: Dietetic Technician Program
New Jersey: Montclair State University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science Montclair State University: Dietetic Internship Saint Elizabeth University: Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition Saint Elizabeth University: Dietetic Internship Rutgers University: BS in Nutritional Sciences Rutgers University: Dietetic Internship Rutgers University: Masters of Science in Nutritional Sciences
New Mexico: University of New Mexico: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics University of New Mexico: Dietetic Internship New Mexico State University: Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetic Science New Mexico State University: Dietetic Internship
New York: Queens College – CUNY: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics Queens College – CUNY: Dietetic Internship
Puerto Rico: Universidad Ana G. Méndez: Coordinated Program Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico: Coordinated Program in Dietetics University of Puerto Rico: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics University of Puerto Rico: Dietetic Internship
Texas: Tarrant County College: Dietetic Technician Program University of Texas at Austin: Coordinated Program University of Texas at Austin: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Texas A & M University: Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science Texas A & M University: Dietetic Internship Texas Women’s University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition (Dietetics) Texas Women’s University: Dietetic Internship The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: Master of Science in Dietetics University of Houston: Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Foods University of Houston: Dietetic Internship Sam Houston State University: Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition Sam Houston State University: Dietetic Internship Texas Tech University: Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science and Dietetics Texas Tech University: Dietetic Internship University of the Incarnate Word: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition University of the Incarnate Word: Dietetic Internship Texas State University: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods (Dietetics) Texas State University: Dietetic Internship
Wisconsin: Mount Mary University: Dietetic Internship Mount Mary University: Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics
My journey into dietetics started at age 11 when my sister @awfully.sweet was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Seeing how much nutrition impacts health at a young age set the course for me to become a dietitian.
Some bumps in the road included a teacher who said “minorities don’t typically do well” and I even had a student advisor tell me not to take organic chemistry over the summer because I would likely fail (which I took & passed!). I was blessed to have supportive family & friends to encourage me when I felt not good enough – especially when you’re a first generation college student.
Fortunately, I had a great grad school experience, despite being the only minority in my masters-dietetic internship class. My confidence strengthened exponentially both personally and professionally during grad school. Working in the clinical setting and being in the small percentage of RDs of color has truly shown me the importance and value of diversity in this field.
My name is Sadé Meeks, a Registered Dietitian born and raised in Jackson, MS. I got my B.S. in culinary arts from Miss Univ for Women and my M.S. in Nutrition from CSULA.
I can’t say I’ve always wanted to be a dietitian. It isn’t because it hasn’t always been part of my purpose, but because it wasn’t revealed to me until later on. See, I never met one single dietitian while growing up in Mississippi. I had no exposure to black women in that field and was entirely clueless about what dietitians did. However, my education created greater exposure, and I soon found myself in Los Angeles, pursuing my Masters in Nutrition.
It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. I was the only black student in my cohort, I had to work two jobs while taking a full load, and for a moment, I even struggled with food insecurity. I never went without food, but the quality and choices of food were reduced.
However, I was resilient. I didn’t let the hardships keep me down. I put on my culinary hat and used my food literacy skills to help me thrive in my food environment. I was blessed to have those skills in my back pocket, but that’s not everyone’s story. There are so many barriers that exist among our communities and perpetuate these low health outcomes. (It’s sad to say, a lot of it is rooted in systemic racism.) With that perspective, I knew I was to use my voice to advocate ways to tear down those barriers.
I founded my nonprofit GRITS Inc (Growing Resilience In The South) in 2018. We are dedicated to bridging the gaps between nutrition, food history, and culture so that our communities can be empowered to thrive.
Becoming a dietitian became an outlet not only to tell my story, but advocate for others whose narratives and stories frequently get overlooked.
My name is Germaine Guy. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nutrition/dietetics. I’ll hold a specialty certification in renal nutrition but I’m also interested in sports nutrition and whole foods plant-based nutrition.
I honestly don’t feel like I’ve experienced any barriers being an African-American male dietitian. Being a minority in both race and sex allows me stand out and provide a different viewpoint in dietetics.
I don’t think it’s the university’s fault for the lack of inclusivity. Any student of any race or sex can choose to major in dietetics if they choose to. I think it is up to minority dietitians to show students that there are dietitians of all races and act as mentors to guide them through the process of becoming a dietitian.
I am originally from East Africa, Ethiopia and Eritrea. My Dad is Eritrean, and I was born and raised in Ethiopia. We have various family customs related to food. As for culture, we are vegan most of the year and eat meat in between fasting seasons.
I believe we have the best vegan/vegetarian food that is both flavorful and nourishing. I completed my undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2007. Go Terps! I then went on to complete my dietetics internship with Sodexo Mid Atlantic at Johns Hopkins Hospital 2008-2009. I shadowed various individuals in different healthcare settings.
I fell in love with dietetics as it enables me to teach and empower individuals to take charge of their own well-being. My true passion is helping and encouraging individuals; nutrition is a great tool to facilitate and provide real solutions for individuals to gain their health back. I am currently a full-time mompreneur and part-time private practice owner. In addition, I consult for various companies on a PRN basis. As my children grow up, my goal is to continue to grow my private practice to a full-time operating practice. Finding internships and places to volunteer was very challenging during undergrad. After a year of searching, I found a volunteer opportunity as a result of meeting a black dietitian at a health fair and asked if I could shadow her. I volunteered at her hospital for 4 months, where they later gave me a job as a Dietetic Tech while I was a junior in college. If it was not for her, I honestly would not have had a chance at all. I have ALWAYS had a mentor and still do! My mentor has helped me understand the private practice world. She taught me how to navigate the ins and outs of running my business and managing my expectations with clients. She has given me tools and resources so I do not repeat the same mistakes she made. She even taught me how to negotiate my rate during the beginning stages. Through her guidance, I was able to save time and energy, which has allowed me to focus on things that matter during the different seasons of my life. I think diversity in the field is important because if it had not been for the black RD who opened the door for me and mentored me, I don’t think I would be where I am today. She created a space and an opportunity that allowed me to enter the field I love and so I pay it forward. I want to empower and support the next generation of black dietitians, as well as help communities of color gain their health back. Sadly, sometimes, the field of dietetics fails to provide culturally relevant solutions. No way my mom would eat salads three times a day (lol). But I showed her how she can still enjoy our foods in a healthier way and helped her learn new habits that will lead her to true wellbeing. I am proud to call my mom one of my clients and I want to help many more people in under-represented communities. Find different mentors as soon as possible and learn from them as much as possible. Everyone will have something to teach you, even about how not to be a bad RD. I took everyone’s advice, but I did not allow their fear and frustration to distract me from my goals.
I am grateful and happy that Diversify Dietetic exists for the upcoming students of color. I was fortunate to accidentally connect with Cheryl, but DD is here to intentionally support and encourage students to see themselves in one of us. More importantly, they can do so much better and faster than we had to do things due to ease of accessibility to the DD community. I am here to support the next generation do better and exceed what we are able to accomplish with our limited network and resources in the past. In the next five years, I hope to see us double in number with the support and encouragement of RD’s like myself and the entire DD community.
The USDA defines a food desert as “a neighborhood that lacks healthy food sources.” While this term has been widely used to describe communities with lack of access to fresh foods and grocery stores, it is imperative that we contextualize what this language can mean to people living in communities defined as ‘food deserts.’
Contrary to the imagery that the term ‘food desert’ evokes, we know that these communities are not desolate or inherently lacking; there is abundant life, energy and potential to be found. Karen Washington coined the term ‘food apartheid’ to make the shift inward, exploring the root causes of food system inequities as being directly correlated with race, class and geography.
The fact of the matter: healthy, fresh foods are accessible in wealthy neighborhoods, while unhealthy foods are bountiful in poor neighborhoods. This is an intentional, policy disparity that leaves racialized individuals
A study concerning multiple communities found that wealthy neighborhoods had three times the number of grocery stores as low socioeconomic neighborhoods, while white neighborhoods had four times the number as African American neighborhoods. African Americans living in an area with access to one or more grocery stores are more likely to consume fruits and vegetables than those living in neighborhoods without. For each additional neighborhood grocery store, produce consumption increased by 32%
The degree to which a neighborhood has access to healthy food sources can be measured by distance to a store, the number of stores in a given area, accessibility of these stores, means of transportation and income level of community members. Although these neighborhoods may have corner and convenience stores, the shelves are stocked with cheap, processed, nutritionally empty foods–foods high in sugar and fat–which increases the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and other diet-related issues.
So what shapes food apartheids?
The history of segregation continues to shape every aspect of people’s lives—including the food they have access to.
Redlining maps were created with the intent of formalizing the division between white and Black citizens in a given city, based on principles of so-called desirability and race. In the U.S., redlining is defined as a discriminatory practice in which services (financial and otherwise) are withheld from individuals residing in neighborhoods deemed ‘hazardous’ to investment, with residents belonging largely to racial and ethnic minorities. The formalized practice of redlining began in 1934 with the passage of the National Housing Act, leading to the creation of race-based maps of more than 200 U.S. cities.
The development of food deserts in minority neighborhoods as well as purposeful construction of supermarkets impractically far away from targeted residents are direct results of the redlining.
Food disparities in U.S. cities have a collective effect on people’s health. Research has linked them to the disproportionately poor nutrition of Black and Latino Americans, even after adjustment for socioeconomic status. As much as urban planning has been part of the problem, it could now be part of the solution. Some cities have begun using planning tools to increase food equity.
Michelle Wu’s Food Justice Agenda notes that: food justice means racial justice, demanding a clear-eyed understanding of how white supremacy has shaped our food systems. Her campaign outlines clear policy goals:
Support independent food businesses to build a more resilient, diverse food economy.
Hello, I’m Katrina, I am a Canadian born Chinese citizen. My parents’ families came from 2 different parts of China but my parents spent the majority of their lives in Canada. Growing up I was exposed to a very Western culture. I never really knew much of my family, and I only had one cousin who now lives in BC and I have little contact with.
One of my biggest shames growing up was sitting with a group of friends who identified themselves as Chinese because they had so many connections with their culture, recipes their family made, or inside jokes I might not get, but I could only connect to it at a very I never liked the label CBC or whitewashed, because it made me feel like I was at a loss of identity. I didn’t feel Chinese, and I didn’t feel Canadian either.
It wasn’t until high school when we all had to figure out what career we wanted to pursue that it made me reflect on what was important to me. I always knew I wanted to be in health care, I just didn’t know where.
My mom had offhandedly mentioned that there was such a thing as an RD. It was a mere brainstorm bullet point idea but I’ve held onto it ever since. To me, food holds a deep connection to my culture and my identity. It’s something I share with people. It’s not just the act of eating. Years later, while I may still feel disconnected from my Chinese culture, I try to reconnect to it is through learning more about the cuisine. I hope as a future dietetics professional I can help people find a connection and enjoyment through the foods they eat.
My name is Sabrina aka @_sabji! On my page you will find memes, tips for reducing waste, myth busting and nutrition education made simple!
I’m in my final year at King’s College London, and right now I have a bunch of different areas I want to tackle, from nutrition education to food insecurity to cultural inclusivity. In fact my research project will be addressing the availability and costing of culturally appropriate food baskets in London!
Throughout my degree I have become more and more aware of how little diversity there within the field of dietetics in terms of culture, gender and socio-economic backgrounds. But instagram has meant that I have met so many wonderful RDs and RD2BE from all walks of life, where we’ve been able to share stories of micro-aggression or inequalities for ethnic minority patients! I can’t wait to see the BDA do more work in diversifying the field, especially with the BLM talk on the 24th September! I would love to see more cooking sessions with people from different cultures as part of our cooking lessons at uni! It would be an invaluable experience to help us widen our knowledge about foods our patients may eat and its cultural significance.
It’s time for us to be willing to learn, share our stories and make changes!
Hey everyone! My name is Jamie and I am studying at Deakin University in Melbourne. I graduated from the Bachelor’s in Food and Nutrition Science in 2019 and I’m currently doing Honours this year where I am researching dietary intakes of toddlers, which is one of my areas of interest.
I’m an International student from Singapore, and it was definitely difficult meeting people of similar cultures within the course, which was also due to the fact that there was only a handful of us. I always accepted this circumstance without question since I was a foreign student, and didn’t have any expectations that it would be similar to what I had back in Singapore, which is a multi-racial country. Living in Melbourne the past 3 years has shown me the diverse cultures here, and I have had the opportunity to be in nutrition placements that gave me insights into the nutrition field here. However, through my education and experience, I also realise that what we learn and have been exposed to may have been quite one-dimensional. They don’t always take into account cultural differences, and this is what I struggled with at one point because what was and is commonly promoted as “healthy eating” didn’t always fit in with my cultural foods, and I’m sure many other cultures as well.
This has definitely sparked another interest in me, to be more inclusive in terms of cultural backgrounds in my learnings and future work, and I’m very grateful that people like Christabel is spearheading movements like these!