by Tyler K. Smith, MD, MPH and Kelly Kreisler, MD, MPH
Winter greetings from the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion! 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. With the growth of our committee, comes the opportunity to critique our work over the past year and hold ourselves accountable to the goals set by the committee and by the board. We completed two of the four SMART objectives set for 2021: provide three presentations to KAAP members related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and KAAP Board of Directors will participate in a guided discussion to better understand the role of diversity at all levels and implicit bias by the end of the year. We did not complete our goals of identifying three organizations working in this space and connecting with these organizations by the end of 2021. Under the direction of the KAAP Board of Directors, the committee is creating a DEI checklist to ensure diversity is woven into the fabric of all board activities. We are also revising the vision, mission and goals, which can be found on the KAAP website.
Each quarter we would like to highlight a few observances related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. January 27th 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. March is Women’s History Month and National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The theme for Women’s History Month 2022 is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” 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.
We have an ambitious agenda for this year and committee meetings are open to all KAAP members, and the work is stronger when more voices are at the table. 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.