At Renfrew, we have always been committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization and, in summer 2020, we strengthened this commitment by developing the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.
This multi-member committee is made up of individuals from varying positions and departments within Renfrew. We have been extremely busy in the last 6+ months taking significant steps to create everlasting change as it influences clinical care, ongoing trainings to Renfrew staff and the professional community, as well as human resources policies and practices.
Some of these exciting changes include:
- A BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Support Group for current patients. We saw a need to create a space where BIPOC patients can come together to share lived experiences, emotions and resources, to allow for the development of valuable tools to support the challenging process of overcoming an eating disorder. Led by the wonderful team of Nailah Wilds, R-DMT, Primary/ Expressive Therapist at The Renfrew Center of New York and Nicole Iwule, MS, NCC, Primary Therapist at The Renfrew Center of Orlando, this weekly virtual group is open to all patients, at all levels of care throughout the country.
- We have started a patient support group for our LGBTQIA+ community. We now offer multiple SAGE (Sexuality and Gender Equality) Groups, at all levels of care. SAGE provides a safe and empowering space for members to discuss societal pressures, fluidity in identity, and gender expression, along with other pivotal themes that may hinder recovery.
- We have also been working to educate the public on the impacts of race on eating disorders through our media efforts. Some notable placements include:
- Therapy for Black Girls Podcast: Session 165: Let’s Chill with the Quarantine 15 Jokes. Interview by Gayle Brooks, PhD, CEDS-S
- SWAAY: Questions That Aren’t Being Asked About Eating Disorders in Black Women. Article by Paula Edwards-Gayfield, LCMHCS, LPC, CEDS-S and Robia Smith-Herman, LCSW
- CNN International: Olympic High Jumper Pressured to ‘Perform Better’ and Lose a Few Pounds. Quotes by Gayle Brooks, PhD, CEDS-S
We are proud of these enhancements and know there is more work to be done. Continue to check back for the latest updates from the Task Force.