Summer greetings from the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)! Our committee’s vision is “for KAAP to lead the way and be a role model for pediatricians, patients and families, and the community in diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Many thanks to Timothy Roberts, MD, Fellowship Program Director for Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Mercy Kansas City and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine, for presenting an informative webinar with practical advice for pediatricians caring for LGBTQIA+ patients on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 titled Primary Care Needs of Transgender & Other Sexual Minority Individuals.
August marks the one-year anniversary of the Board of the Kansas Chapter of the AAP’s creation of the DEI Task Force. It has been a busy year for our members as the short-term task force quickly became a standing committee. This change was made in recognition of the need for continually renewing our commitment to the principles of DEI and holding ourselves accountable when we have opportunities to learn and grow. Members of the DEI committee will join the board at the fall meeting. We have an ambitious goal of working together to ensure all policies and procedures support DEI in every aspect of our organization.
We honor, recognize, and celebrate observances about diversity, equity, and inclusion occurring in the summer months. It is fitting that our group’s anniversary falls during August, which is History of Diversity Awareness Month. Diversity Awareness Month is about beginning conversations designed to help us appreciate both our similarities and differences. In September, we begin the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019, 60.6 million Americans identified as Hispanic, making up 16% to 18% of the U.S. population. President Lyndon B. Johnson instituted Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 to recognize the many important accomplishments of Hispanic Americans. Currently, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 and celebrates Hispanic and Latinx culture. The terms Hispanic and Latinx are often used interchangeably, but they mean two different things. Hispanic refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone from Spain or Spanish-speaking origin. Latino/a or Latinx refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a country in Latin America. Latinx became popular in recent years to provide an inclusive, gender-neutral term.
Thank you for the participation and continued support of our phenomenal committee members! Committee meetings are open to all KAAP members and occur on the first Tuesday of every other month from 12 (noon) – 1 p.m. If interested in participating on the committee, please contact KAAP Executive Director, Ms. Mel Hudelson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our webpage 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