Full Conference Workshops

Conference workshops are scheduled during concurrent paper presentations. Workshops are scheduled for 90 minutes.


Workshop 1: What are 2 Brown Women doing in Dietetics: How Racialized People Navigate and Cope on their Journey of Becoming and Being a Dietitian– November 13th: 5:15-630pm EST

Gurneet Dhami & Safura Syed

As two brown women, we aim to shed light on the un/under-documented history of BIPOC representation in the field of dietetics. The over-representation of white dietetic professionals continues to control the narratives of what it means to be or become a dietitian. For example, being a white, thin, middle/upper class cis-woman is a default image of a dietitian. Through a storytelling approach, we will bring forth quotes from dietetic professionals and students that identify as BIPOC. These quotes will help showcase the barriers they have encountered along their dietetic education and profession. Additionally, quotes will also be accompanied to share how BIPOC individuals navigate through education and profession. It is important to note that these discussions will be anonymous due to repercussions faced by BIPOC students and professionals. 

The second part of the presentation will include mini-break out rooms for individuals to come share their perspectives and recommendations on how they can create inclusive spaces for conversation and the work we need to do. We hope that by sharing our stories dietetic professionals and students can help create conversations that continue to inform how we perceive and practice cultural competence, social justice and critical thinking in the dietetic profession. 

Goals:  

  1. To showcase the under-documented experience of BIPOC dietetic students and dietitians navigating education and professional practice settings
  2. How to cultivate relationships and connect with BIPOC dietetic professionals in meaningful ways

Workshop 2: Dialogue towards diverse representation and food sovereignty: A critique of whiteness in nutrition counselling November 27th 2-3:30pm EST

Eric Ng & Phoebe Lee

Through presenting and discussing our experiences in working with racialized immigrant communities in Toronto, this roundtable will explore how the lack of diverse food representation in dietetics reinforces the white, Eurocentric, colonial ideals that govern our concepts of healthy food and eating.  We will highlight and explore the dissonance we observed when working with racialized communities in providing nutrition counselling, and question how we are complicit in perpetuating these ideals.  We invite participating dietitians to reflect on our positionality as well as their own experiences with racialized clients.   We will explore ways to unlearn/question dominant viewpoints of healthy food/eating with discussions and group activities, which will include case studies and the critique of patient educational materials/recipes.

Goals:

These activities aim to unmask underlying assumptions and promote reflexivity. Through dialogue we hope to support meaningful diversity and food sovereignty among immigrant and racialized communities. 

Workshop 3: Breaking ourselves open: accountability within dietetics through collective critical nurturance Friday November 27th 3:35pm-5:05pm

Tanya L’Heureux & Julie Rochefort

The historical and contemporary standards of “professionalism” are entangled within systems of oppression and privilege (namely white supremacy, capitalism, cis-heteropatriarchy, and christian hegemony) and lead to further discrimination and harm towards Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, LGBTQ2S+ community, people living in poverty, people with higher body weights, and/or people living with disabilities. The profession of dietetics began in North America as domestic science which mainly included cis, white, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle class women.  Today, the profession continues to be over-represented by this population, which calls us to examine the ways in which the professionalization of dietetics, as well as our own everyday (non)actions, are implicated in these violent systems. However, examining such shadows from past and present practices often leads to anger, pain, numbness, grief, fear, despair, and shame; feeling as if our hearts are breaking. Yet this deep pain and fear is often ignored and further silenced by efforts to maintain ‘dietetic professionalism’. Activist and anti-oppression educator Sandra Kim posits that the pain we are feeling is not that of a breaking heart but rather the breaking of the armor that has been built around our hearts. Such armor is developed and strengthened through the professionalization of dietitians and our own self-preservation which often leads to complicity and/or (un)intentional harms which (re)produce systems of power and oppression. Critical theorists have underlined the importance of attending to these embodied experiences and pains in order to begin the work on dismantling power inequities starting within ourselves. This process requires deep healing within a critically nurturing space that allows us to process pain that arises as we work through the struggles for social justice. In doing so, we can begin to build and maintain collective accountability, critical humility, and compassionate actions to do better. 

Drawing from reflexive feminist frameworks, three conversation circles will take place. Prior to the session, registered participants will receive reflection questions in preparation for the conversation circles. If this is not possible, we can have our questions ready to be added along with our abstract to the conference program. The first circle will invite all participants to share their reflections through a shared document to allow for individual and small group written reflection.The second circle will occur in smaller groups where participants will be broken into breakout rooms related to themes that most resonate with their broken heartedness (e.g. white supremacy, ableism, sizeism, classism, transphobia, heterosexism) to discuss their experiences and questions related to redressing dietetic professionalism. The final circle will bring participants together to explore ways to support and sustain ongoing engagement and reflection following the workshop. 

Learning intentions:

  1. Create a space of critical nurturance to discuss our implications in social injustices. 
  2. Validate the emotions that arise from examining and considering potential unintentional harms.
  3. Build community and foster collective accountability among participants. 
  4. Explore ways in which compassionate actions towards social justice and reconciliation can be applied within dietetic practice.