EDAC Champions DEIA in 2022, Beyond

December 20, 2022 by Beth Sitzler

As part of Phase Six of NATA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) Response Plan, each NATA committee, commission and council was tasked with developing three to five actionable items that support one or more of the six NATA DEIA Commitments.

For this blog post, NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee Chair Darryl Conway shares how the committee celebrates diversity every day, what it has accomplished this year and what it has planned, so far, for 2023.

“EDAC has had a lot of successes [this year], and I think we’re going to continue to build on those success in the future,” Conway said. 


A Look Back at 2022

EDAC kicked off 2022 with the #EDAC365 campaign. Utilizing the committee’s social media channels, the #EDAC365 campaign celebrated ethnic diversity within the profession every day of the year. From recognizing ATs during cultural heritage months to sharing NATA’s patient-care resources, the campaign kept members informed and connected each day.

The February NATA News, which focused on cultural competency, featured the article “Re-Imagining Cultural Competency in the Context of Cultural Humility,” written by NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee District Ten Rep. Jeffrey Kawaguchi, PhD, ATC, PT. The article discussed how a “both/and” approach can be used to improve patient care and the understanding of these two companion terms.

Later that month, Kawaguchi joined Karlita Warren, PhD, ATC, and Candace Parham Lacayo, PhD, LAT, ATC, on NATA Chats for a conversation about microaffirmations and their February NATA News article, “A Little Goes a Long Way.” The chat is available to watch on-demand on NATA’s Facebook page.

Continuing the cultural competency conversation, the lead article of the Summer Sports Medicine Legal Digest examined what ATs should know about creating a safe environment for patients and colleagues. In this op-ed, Kawaguchi outlined the responsibility ATs have to ensure an inclusive workplace and the legal and social impacts on patient care.

With the return of in-person convention in June came the return of EDAC’s in-person events.

Prior to the official start of the 73rd NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo, EDAC hosted a service event at the Lucian E. Blackwell Community Center in Philadelphia. More than 20 volunteers attended and held round-robin activities, educating children about various aspects of health care.  

Falling under NATA 2022’s education theme of DEIA, EDAC presented the educational session, “Moving Away From Race-Based Practice.” The committee also hosted the EDAC Town Hall. In addition to committee and district updates, the town hall provided attendees opportunities to network and connect with colleagues around the country.

Later in the summer, EDAC District Eight Rep. Alejandra Merriman, DAT, ATC, NASM-CES, was a featured panelist during the NATA Timely Topics event, “The AT, Cultural Competency, Accountability and Allyship” hosted by Gatorade Performance Partners.

In the November NATA News, the entire committee was highlighted in the issue’s Forward Together: Success Through Support article. In the article, each committee member shared how they think ATs can foster diversity within the profession.


What’s to Come in 2023

Heading into the new year, the committee plans to continue the #EDAC365 campaign throughout 2023.

Next year, EDAC will also debut a speakers bureau, a resource that will connect those organizing conferences, webinars, meeting and educational events to ethnically diverse thought leaders who have expertise in a variety of topics.

“Our goal is to have more ethnically diverse representation at meetings,” Conway. “We want to make sure those individuals who are putting together and organizing meetings have a listing of diverse individuals who have subject matter expertise.”

While the speakers bureau is still being developed, event organizers are encouraged to reach out to EDAC for helping connecting to thought leaders.

EDAC also plans to release it’s updated leadership report in 2023. Building off of the committee’s 2017 leadership report, this updated report will expand to include not only NATA leadership, but leadership at the district and state levels as well as the rest of the AT Strategic Alliance.

“I think it’s important that we have a baseline from where to work,” Conway said. “One of the biggest objectives of EDAC is that there’s ethnically diverse leadership that is representative of the population and the athletes we serve. What does that leadership look like and do we have that?”

In June, EDAC will share insight into the leadership report and discuss recruitment strategies and resources during its NATA 2023 session, “Examining Ethnic Diversity in Athletic Training: A Critical Look & Conversation.”

To stay up to date on everything EDAC is doing, follow the committee on social media and subscribe to NATA’s quarterly Diversity eblast.


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