Winter greetings from the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion! It has been a busy few months for our new committee as we held our first webinar on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Identity and Its Role in the Workplace presented by Rachel McCommon, M.A.Ed., Coordinator of Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Initiatives at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine. Future webinars are being planned and we finalized our vision, mission, and goals. Our vision: For KAAP to lead the way and be a role model for pediatricians, patients and families, and the community in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The vision, mission and goals can be found on the KAAP website.
Each quarter we would like to highlight a few observances related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. January 27 marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day set aside to memorialize the six million Jews and 11 million others killed by the Nazi regime. During the month of February, we celebrate and honor Black History Month, which was developed by Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., an author and historian known as the “Father of Black History.” Dr. Woodson earned his Ph. D in 1912, making him the second African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard. Dr. Woodson, whose parents were enslaved, recognized the need for widespread education about the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. He founded “Negro History Week,” the precursor to Black History Month, hoping in time this event would not be necessary as the importance of African Americans accomplishments and contributions to society would be integrated into all teaching of history. Watching the events of January 6th, as armed insurrectionists stormed our nation’s capital waving Confederate flags and wearing t-shirts promoting antisemitism was a sobering reminder of how far our nation still has to travel on the journey toward inclusivity and anti-racism. March is Women’s History Month and National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The theme for Women’s History Month 2021 is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” For more information, visit womenshistorymonth.gov. National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life and awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live. For more information, visit the National of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD.org)
We have an ambitious agenda for this year and committee meetings are open to all KAAP members. If interested in participating on the committee, please contact KAAP Executive Director, Mel Hudelson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our webpage at http://www.kansasaap.org/wordpress/racism-and-children/ for educational resources and continued learning about diversity, equity and inclusion including the AAP policy statement, The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health.
In empowerment and unity,
Kelly Kreisler, MD, MPH
Tyler K. Smith, MD, MPH
Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Co-Chairpersons