Black Dietitians Matter.
My journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian was a long process; filled with some hardships but plenty of successes. Along the way I met and befriended amazing women from various backgrounds, who were also dietitians and doing great things.
To become a dietitian, you are required to complete a 4-year degree (B.S.) in Nutrition/Dietetics. Followed by the successful completion of a dietetic internship that vary in length, from 10 months to 2 years. Followed by successfully passing a board exam given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Continuing education is required yearly to maintain your license. ALOT, I KNOW. The field of nutrition is expansive and much more than helping with weight loss. Community, Clinical, and Food Service are the main areas. Dietitians work in hospitals, dialysis clinics, nursing homes, long term care facilities, school districts, sports teams, and public health programs. With varying levels of expertise, some requiring additional certification.
I obtained my B.S. in Nutrition/Dietetics from Prairie View A&M University in 2014. I completed my dietetic internship at Prairie View in 2016 and passed my board exam in that same year, after my second attempt (It was hard chile). After failing the first time I was extremely defeated and embarrassed; it felt like all the work I had already completed was worth nothing. Without this final step, practicing as a licensed dietitian is not possible. After a lot more work, literally studying every day, help from friends, and a study partner, I succeeded the second time. LI-SSEN, I was LIT! I called everyone I knew hunni! I've been a consultant dietitian covering several long-term care facilities in the Dallas /Fort Worth area for 4 years. Providing medical nutrition therapy, education, and food service quality assurances, to our sometimes-overlooked elderly population. I'm accustomed to being mistaken for the cook or the dietary manager, because of course, I just couldn't be the dietitian. Nevertheless, I've always been able to do my job, be professional, and work through microaggressions; despite how uncomfortable I may be. Along with my full-time job, I sit on the board of directors for a non-profit, MISSION 216. A group dedicated to serving the 75216 area; with hopes to mentor youth and develop a community garden in Oak Cliff. I'm super passionate about community nutrition. Sharing and uplifting the black community regarding food, accessibility to resources, and education related to the many systematic health issues that plague us is important and necessary. I hope to fully transition to this area full time.
This is a field where they're only 2.3% Black Dietitians and the demographics of Registered Dietitians has changed little over the last 13 years. Working with other black dietitians and women of color is far and few between. However, I've luckily met and established relationships with several great ones and I'd like to highlight a few, first:
Kelli Wall RDN LD from Detroit, Michigan who works at Head Start. Currently planning food distribution for head start students and also managing the Child and Adult Care Food Program at her agency. She's also currently applying for graduation for her Masters in Public Health from Benedictine University.
Follow her on instagram: @thee_detroit_dietitian
Jennifer Rodriguez M.S. RDN LD from Fort Worth, Texas who completed her B.S. at TWU and her dietetic internship at Prairie View A&M University. She's a Latinx Vegan RD, specializing in preventive and plant-based nutrition.
Follow her on instagram: @foodisvida or foodisvida.com for amazing content and also regarding nutrition consultations.
Shana McGowan RDN LD She completed her dietetic internship at Prairie View A&M University, and currently works as a renal dietitian providing medical nutrition therapy for dialysis patients.
Follow her on instagram: @shadybootz2012
Koran Watson M.S. RDN LD who currently has her own private practice and is accepting new patients for a multitude of nutrition diagnoses, (Gastrointestinal issues, Diabetes nutrition, Obesity Medicine, Weight management)
Follow her on instagram: @livelaughlove19906 and go to Teladoc.com for consult bookings.
Thanks, ladies, for being included. Continue to do amazing work.
-Tasha's Taste of Travel