The Pursuing Private Practice Podcast with Jennifer McGurk and Guest Tamara Melton
In this episode:
Jennifer is thrilled to welcome Tamara Melton to share her game-changing mission of diversifying the dietetics industry, on this episode of the Pursuing Private Practice Podcast.
Co-founder of Diversify Dietetics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the racial and ethnic diversity in the field of nutrition, Tamara shares the story of its launch in April 2018 and why it is so needed.
With an academic background of teaching nutrition at a university in Atlanta, Tamara shines a light on the lack of diversity in the demographic profile of dietitians, and why that is not only a barrier to attracting new students, but also creates a lack of diverse practitioners to help people of color. With full acknowledgement of how the industry is currently not reflective of the diversity of people it serves, Tamara and Jennifer discuss the dire need for more diverse providers to refer to.
There was no organization out there that is doing what needs to be done to successfully attract, recruit, and retain students, interns and professionals of color. – Tamara Melton
You’ll hear how, along with co-founder Deanna Belleny, Diversify Dietetics was created to provide a community to attract, encourage, and empower students and young professionals of color who were seeking careers in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
With a mission to break down the boundaries of stereotypical dietitians, its goal is also to better serve people of cultural diversity who might not otherwise seek out care, or seek out practitioners they identify with regardless of their level of training. Tamara speaks to the incredible opportunity for diverse practitioners to fill this gap in the industry.
Addressing the practical concerns of dietetics as a lucrative career choice, Tamara explains why Diversify Dietetics also helps support entrepreneurship with business training, to attract more diverse students to the industry and take the risk of starting a private practice. Now, as a community and a point of contact for anyone who’s looking for a dietitian of color in any state, Tamara shares her hopes and dedication to continuing the diversification of dietitians.
We wanted to create an organization that would create an answer to any obstacle that students or professionals of color might come up against as they’re getting through their educational pathway, and trying to anchor themselves in this profession. – Tamara Melton
Some of the topics discussed include:
- How Diversify Dietetics is passionate about empowering students and professionals of color to help them become the leaders of the next generation in dietetics.
- Why micro-aggression and unconscious bias can create a barrier to learning and creativity for students of color in all-white learning environments.
- The 3-day learning summit in Atlanta and the diversity of speakers and topics (now sold out!)
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ABOUT TAMARA MELTON, MS, RDN, LD, CPHIMS
Tamara is the co-founder and Executive Director of Diversify Dietetics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the field of nutrition by empowering students and young professionals from underrepresented minority groups to join the next generation of nutrition experts. At Diversify Dietetics, Tamara oversees programming that provides resources such as mentorships, application preparation, academic course remediation and more to dietetics students, interns and young professionals of color. Tamara also leads programming for dietetics educators, to provide them with the training and skills needed to increase diversity in their dietetics programs. Tamara has over a decade’s experience in education and academia, and has advised and taught thousands of students from diverse groups. Tamara spent several years at Georgia State University (GSU) as the inaugural Program Director of the Lewis College’s Health Informatics undergraduate and graduate programs and a Department of Nutrition Professor. At GSU Tamara grew this unique program to over 200 students, many of whom were first generation Americans and college students. She is currently a part-time instructor in the nutrition department of GSU.
- Website: Diversify Dietetics
- Instagram and Facebook
- RDs of Color Entrepreneur Summit
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- Connect with Tamara Instagram and co-founder Deanna Belleny on Instagram
- Podcast: Weight Stigma in Dietetics with Jennifer McGurk and Kimmie Singh
RESOURCES FROM JENNIFER