Most recent meeting minutes, once approved, are listed first.
June 7, 2021
Megan Hadley, Julie Duffy Dillon, Laura Watson, Brett Debney (recorder), Heather Kitchen
The minutes from 5/25/21 were reviewed, and there was a general consensus that these minutes should be re-written into a bullet-point format rather than its current narrative format, in order to be more consistent with other meeting minutes. One member offered to make these changes. These minutes will be reviewed again at the next meeting.
At the request of one group member, the topic of what happened two years ago to change the name of this group of professionals (now Triad Eating Disorder Professionals) was discussed. The following is a summary of just a piece of what happened.
- Approximately 2-1/2 years ago, there was a discussion about the name of the group, which, at the time, was “Space for All.” Some group members noted it was not an inclusive space.
- There was conflict that occurred in this meeting, with not all members in agreement. A split occurred and some members left.
- The remaining members note that their reaction was “hands off.”
- These events and this response were an indicator that this group, and potentially the eating disorder community at large, is poor at navigating conflict.
Consequences of the above events include:
- The failure of this group to address these dynamics at the time is one factor that ultimately led to one of our Black colleagues being harmed by another colleague.
- The issue remains that we have no real process for managing conflict, which is one thing this group is working on addressing.
Discussion on Group Direction and Next Steps
The group members discussed overall agenda items for this group and also for our meetings moving forward, in order to make more efficient use of our time and to ensure we maintain our focus. Identified overall agenda items include:
- Complete the Values document
- Determine an accountability protocol
- Develop a mission statement
- Identify action items such as special projects
Currently, our focus is on completing our Values document. Items that fall into one of the other categories will be added to a “parking lot” area for addressing in the future. This way we can capture new ideas, but remain focused on completing our Values document.
Other topics of discussion included:
- It needs to continue to be okay for a group member to request a pause in our agenda in order to sift through and discuss important matters.
- It was recommended that group members listen to My Black Body, which is a podcast where the most recent episode discussed accountability in the eating disorder community.
- What is our goal or mission statement?
- To create a professional space that could possibly be safer for BIPOC professionals in the eating disorder profession.
- Perhaps we can research what kind of accountability protocol other organizations or professions have, to help us develop our own.
- One group member offered to collect some examples.
Agenda for Next Meeting
- Review minutes from 5/25/21
- Continue refining our Values document
- Review accountability processes of other organizations and professions
Next meeting: June 22nd at 7:15pm
May 25, 2021
Present: Megan Hadley, Julie Duffy Dillon (recorder), Laura Watson, Jeannie Sykes (recorder), Brett Debney, and Annie Wittenberg.
Set meeting agenda
- Acknowledge one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder
- Discuss old business not complete from last meeting
- Discussed at length the process of accountability and repair utilized previously upon report of harm within the Greensboro ED community. See EatingDisorderProfessionals.com/Accountability for a complete description of the process.
- Members discussed appropriateness using the internet to report harm.
- Members individually discerned how much information one needs in order to believe harm reports. One member verbalized discomfort in reporting on the group’s website without knowing details. This member communicated a desire to leave the group after this meeting because of this discernment.
- Present members discussed different definitions of white supremacy.
- Group reiterated the purpose of this working group is to have a process when future harm occurs. They want to prevent this type of incident happening in the future, and to determine the best course of action when harmful behaviors toward BIPOC are identified.
- Those remaining in the group discerned that they believe reported harm by BIPOC colleagues without needing to know details.
- One member officially informed the group that she is leaving the group because of the Old Business discussion noted above.
- The group remaining verbalized well wishes.
- New meeting date set.
June 7 at 7:15 pm
May 11, 2021
Megan Hadley, Julie Duffy Dillon, Laura Watson, Jeannie Sykes, Brett Debney (recorder), Heather Kitchen, and Annie Wittenberg.
The minutes from 4/13/21 were approved. We were reminded that at the end of the previous meeting, we stated, “When we start the next meeting, we plan to return to and further discuss the question: what role does this organization want to play in facilitating accountability in the larger ED community (e.g. treatment centers, IADEP, etc.)?”
Recent events involving ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) were discussed.
- ANAD had started an inclusive care “Seal of Approval” to award to eating disorder treatment settings that were offering inclusive care. They had laid out certain criteria that must be met to receive this award.
- One of the recipients of the award did not actually meet the criteria, and one of our group members brought this to the attention of ANAD.
- Additionally, it appears that ANAD lifted much of their language from the FEDUP (Fighting Eating Disorders in Underrepresented Populations) website.
- Our group member was also in contact with someone at the organization that received the award.
- ANAD ended up posting on Instagram an acknowledgment of these events on May 10th (yesterday).
- They removed the “Seal of Approval” from their website and asked the recipients to do the same.
- They are leaving the criteria on their website as a resource.
The subsequent discussion in this meeting included the following:
- What do we want to do?
- Change did happen when one of our group members spoke up.
- How do we continue to do this kind of work?
- Having these conversations.
- Letting each other know what we are doing.
- Do we, as an organization, want to reach out and/or call-in other organizations?
- All together, we have a lot of contacts and relationships at eating disorder treatment settings.
- Using the relationships we already have to make change.
- Sometimes there are two steps in this process of calling-in.
- 1) Stop doing something
- 2) start doing something different.
What do we want to do in our group?
- Hold each other accountable as individuals
- This is the starting point for this group.
- We remain unsure what shape this will take.
- Having the opportunity to co-write emails or stand up in a meeting.
- Not just saying “here is the problem,” but offering suggestions and solutions.
- An opportunity where collectively we are saying things to organizations, e.g., we are not seeing the changes we wanted.
- Is it more effective collectively?
- Being a liaison or identifying resources.
- We risk being written off as, “It’s them again.”
- How to be effective and not just reactive.
- Asking organizations and settings:
- What are you doing to improve inclusiveness?
- We are concerned about it.
- There are resources and consultants who can help.
- Are we at risk of tokenizing individuals ourselves at some point?
- Some day we hope to actually be a safer space, but it will take time.
- We will know we are close when we have black providers wanting to join us.
- Currently we do not have marginalized people waiting to come in.
- How do we foster new people coming in?
- Identify folks who are already therapists who might be interested in specializing in eating disorders
- Create a list of criteria for white providers in order to help reduce harm when they/we supervise minoritized treatment providers.
- FEDUP may have a list of criteria/guidelines
- Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro (one member will reach out to them).
- Article on the internet on, “How to find an anti-racist therapist.” (another group member will look further into this).
Intra-member Group Discussion
One member expressed some discomfort with how some specific events of last year, related to one of our colleagues, are continuing to play out. The group engaged in a lengthy discussion on this topic. Some things discussed included:
- There are no publicly available details or evidence of what occurred.
- Bigger questions for this group:
- When you “call in” somebody (i.e., speak to them privately about a matter of concern) and nothing happens or changes, what do you do?
- Developing our process of accountability is an important part of being safer for minoritized individuals.
- Difference between feeling shame versus being shamed.
- This has been an opportunity for us to help an individual in our professional community to potentially make a change.
- We need to have a process in place so that if this happens in the future, everyone knows what to expect.
- What do we do if this happens again?
- What do other groups do?
Next meeting: May 25th at 7:15pm
April 13, 2021
Megan Hadley, Julie Duffy Dillon, Laura Watson, Jeannie Sykes, Brett Debney, and Annie Wittenberg (recorder).
Recommendations of Books/Series/Courses for the group:
Book recommendations- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett & Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson
Netflix Series- Amend: The Fight For America hosted by Will Smith
Course- Activating Advocacy mini course by Michele Nicole
What we are noticing about our work with clients as related to the discourse in
- When clients/patients make a comment in session that is racist, homophobic, etc. how are we currently responding?
- As we get clearer in our values in this group, perhaps we will feel more equipped to effectively respond to clients in the moment when we feel “paralysis”.
- How can we bring the discourse that we are having in this group into our conversation with clients more?
- We arrived at the conclusion: if we’re not bringing our social justice lens into our sessions with clients, we are contributing to the greater problem.
- Discussed examples of how we can/do bring this into session.
A graphic was shared and discussed titled “Contradictions for white people in racial justice work” by @malefragility on Twitter:
- Last meeting’s minutes were approved.
- We examined our values draft document, and specifically discussed using BIPOC versus BIPOC/POC as language in the document.
- We read the first section on Equity together:
- We discussed if we are keeping the language (in this draft) about how our values apply to clients since the Greensboro group is for other professionals but can be a way that clients find us.
- Decided to keep the language in there as we feel it is important for clients to know what we value.
- We read our section on Inclusion together.
- When we start the next meeting, we plan to return to and further discuss the question: what role does this organization want to play in facilitating accountability in the larger ED community (e.g. treatment centers, IADEP, etc.)?
Next meeting: May 11th at 7:15pm
March 23, 2021
In attendance: Laura Watson, Julie Dillon, Megan Hadley (Recorder), Jeannie Sykes, Brett Debney, Annie Wittenberg, Heather Kitchen
On the topic of believing BIPOC claims of harm: “Who are we going to center: whom do we protect?”
A question was raised about how we can do accountability work well as a solely white group and it was acknowledged that we cannot but:
- We discussed that there has been a call from BIPOC in our professional community to white providers to work together to do the basic work that would reduce harm before inviting BIPOC back to a space that remains unsafe; ie “please do some ground work before you ask stupid-a** questions.”
- The labor of BIPOC and the importance of doing some work on our own was acknowledged
It was brought up that we should have a routine check in at each meeting regarding anti-racism work.
The naming of a provider in the community in a letter posted on the website was brought up as a point of concern and discussed. Others echoed the same or similar concern and the concerns are not resolved; this is still an open discussion.
It was acknowledged that we will harm (as white people) and that it needs to be normalized so that we can work together and grow in our ability to acknowledge, apologize and repair when we have caused harm.
It was named multiple times that there needs to be a process for accountability in our community that we can follow and that creating a process of accountability is one of the current objectives of this group.
Meeting Minutes from March 1st, 2021 were approved
Next Meeting: April 13th @ 7:15 pm
March 1, 2021
7:15 – 8:15
Present: Laura Watson (recorder), Julie Dillon, Megan Hadley, Jeannie Sykes, Brett Debney, Annie Wittenberg
- Minutes from meeting 2/16 were approved.
- Reviewed values document.
- Do we as a group want to include holding others accountable or leave accountability up to the individual person?
- Group agreed to include statement under “education/personal growth” section that we believe it is important to hold one another accountable, with a defined accountability process to do so
- Group clarified we believe those who vocalize harm and to follow accountability process for the process of repairing, to the degree desired by those who have been harmed
- Group viewed ASDAH website language/formatting on putting ideas/values into practice; group felt ASDAH website did a good job formatting and may use this as an example: https://asdah.org/about-asdah/
- Group expanded concept of individual members seeking out their own education and understanding of anti-racism/doing own anti-racism work, in addition to having group accountability. The purpose of individual members doing their own independent anti-racism work is to better be able to hold others accountable and receive feedback from others; group prioritizes learning from BIPOC sources
- Group agreed to add statement under “equity” about believing BIPOC when they say they’ve been harmed. Adding this statement is important as an attempt to foster as much trust as possible
- Extensive discussion ensued regarding concept of invariable belief; one member questioned if this is appropriate or if it is possibly patronizing or even demeaning to BIPOC
- Group feels that values, as stated, are a good foundation. We will probably make adjustments over time, but group is comfortable with values stated thus far
- Next steps are for group members to review ASDAH website listed above for formatting tools.
- How will we use these values/this document to take action steps going forward; how will we translate this into action?
- Jeannie volunteered to spearhead translating document into a more actionable set of steps; group decided to divide topics instead of all the burden falling on Jeannie
- Annie and Jeannie will work on educational/personal growth
- Brett will work on equity
- Megan will work on inclusion
- Laura will work on empathy
- Julie will work on some initial formatting: “We believe” on the left and “we strive to” on the right
- Our next meeting will be 3/23 at 7:15
7:15 – 8:15
Julie Dillon, Brett Debney, Megan Hadley, Heather Kitchen, Jenna Stack, Jeannie Sykes (recorder), Laura Watson and Annie Wittenberg.
- The minutes from 1/12/21 meeting were edited and approved. Julie will re-post the edited minutes to the website.
- We discussed ways in which the following value could be fostered in our group:
Adopting an openness to criticism fosters a sense of safety and trust among members so that they can provide honest feedback.
- Acknowledge that it is often uncomfortable to both give and receive feedback.
- Acknowledge we all make mistakes.
- When giving feedback to include “three yeses and a no” (invitational therapy) or in form of the “sandwich” (positive-negative-positive comment).
- Ask permission before giving feedback if not requested, and be prepared for the individual to say they’re not ready at this time.
- Consider feedback individually or in the group.
- Encourage asking questions to clarify meaning and intention.
- Encourage and coach each other to use empathic communication and active listening skills.
- Normalize conflict as appropriate.
- Check in with each member of the group.
- Review: https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-four-horsemen-recognizing-criticism-contempt-defensiveness-and-stonewalling/
- Review the Stages of Group Development: Forming, Storming, Norming, Working, Adjourning
- It was agreed to add to our values document, “Education and Personal Growth,” and ways to achieve this were briefly discussed, including:
- Be intentional about growth and development.
- Challenge ourselves regarding social justice topics.
- Scheduled the next two meetings, both 7:15-8:15 PM: Monday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 16.
- At next meeting, we will continue to refine our values document.
- Julie will share on Google docs again, and we are encouraged to review and provide feedback (edit in Review mode).
- Zoom invitation remains the same.
Greensboro Eating Disorder Professional Accountability + Repair Meeting Minutes
7:15 – 8:15
Julie Dillon, Brett Debney, Megan Hadley, Heather Kitchen, Jenna Stack, Jeannie Sykes, Laura Watson and Annie Wittenberg.
The group began by revisiting our values statement to delineate it further. We decided to focus on how we will define inclusion as a value specifically to our group. Developing an accountability process was determined by the group as essential to ensure that our actions are aligned with our values. After members brainstormed on ideas and wording, we arrived at the preliminary definition:
- Support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in the way they explicitly want to be supported. We acknowledge that in doing so we may not meet necessarily every demand or request .
- We seek to have an equitable group where fairness is a primary guiding principle.
- Harm is inevitable. As such, we seek to repair and to make amends if repair is possible and consented to by those we have harmed.
Group had many discussions in specifying how we can develop a successful repair process:
- Strive to be compassionate in the repair process when we are responsible for harm
- Embrace opportunities for healthy engagement in conflict
- Strive to see and understand the perspective of others in managing conflict.
- Although critical, the process of navigating conflict with one another will often be uncomfortable.
- Adopting an openness to criticism fosters a sense of safety and trust among members so that they can provide honest feedback.
- The purpose of the group in general and our specific task for this meeting was clarified. The group stated that it is an organization of eating disorder professionals who seek to develop a safer, inclusive and transparent process. This process aims to hold one another accountable and to ensure that all members may safely voice their needs or concerns.
- To aid in providing the scaffolding, structure and format in developing our value statements, a member suggested that the group examine the published mission statements developed by other organizations, such as the New Garden Friends School/Meeting.
The group decided to post minutes on our website eatingdisordersprofessionals.com a week before the next meeting. It was also agreed that a draft document of our values statement will be provided.
Tuesday, 2/16/21 at 7:15 pm
7:15 – 8:15
Julie Dillon, Brett Debney, Jenna Stack, Laura Watson, Annie Wittenberg, Megan Hadley, Jeannie Sykes.
Discussed procedure for minutes and whether or not to publish them. It was noted that we want people to feel able to discuss hard things and that we want to keep a sense of safety. It decided minutes would include what was discussed without attributing the words to a particular speaker.
It was decided that the previous minutes (from 12/15/20) would be revised to remove people’s names, and this document would then be forwarded to the group. The group will review the 12/15/20 minutes at the next meeting.
The group spent time identifying and defining this group’s values. It was noted that it is important to be specific in order to help others to really understand what these values mean, i.e. to avoid language that is too general.
Values discussed today were Equity and Inclusion. The focus was on brainstorming, and the document containing these ideas is currently a living document that will remain under revision until it is finalized.
Several side discussions occurred as values were discussed and identified.
- It was recommended that treatment providers should take a look at Whitney Trotter’s article
- What do we want to do to stay active in anti-racism to ensure there is less harm?
- Collaborate with or financially support a group dedicated to taking down barriers
- Find organizations to support, such as Sage and Spoon
- Find organizations already doing this work, such as Diversify Dietetics
- Explore this more after values are fleshed out
It was agreed that meeting minutes and the Values document should be placed in a Google Docs folder for group members to have access.
Tuesday, 1/26/21 at 7:15
Tuesday, 2/16/21 at 7:15
In attendance: Julie Duffy Dillon, Laura Watson, Megan Hadley, Jeannie Sykes, Jenna Stack, Brett Debney, Annie Wittenberg (Recorder), Heather Kitchen, Debra Benfield
What brought us here
-Explanation of lack of accountability process
-Didn’t have a way for people to come forward if they were hurt
-Didn’t have an accountability process or a person to whom someone can come
-We want a process that doesn’t elicit shame or blame; a process where we can work together in a safe place
-Not just a place where we can vocalize concerns but also a more equitable space in addition to an accountable space
-We want to honor one another and communicate with one another with respect and humility
-The role of Michelle Nicole, a transformative justice consultant of Passion and Power, in providing questions for the group.
Discussion about transparency and repair
-Opened up the space to ask any questions about what transpired
-Rift in community; people feeling offended
-What do we tell people about this conflict? (colleagues particularly)
-Just be transparent about facts (harm was done + now we’re trying to repair)
-Us + them dynamic
-Moving past without any repair process often happens in white communities
-We’re getting away from the harm that was reported by the “us versus them”
-There are sides because of centering the wrong voices.
-The person who named the harm did not disclose the details
-Not trying to exclude anyone/have a rift
-Irrespective of what has happened, we need to move forward with being more inclusive with all differences
-The focus is not on specifically what happened but how we move forward with equity and accountability
Clarity around group format(s)
-Group for Black providers?
-Clarified anonymous process for Black providers
-That space is necessary and essential
How can we bridge the gap now to make a community that’s better?
- Make sure we have a community that can get messy and not shy away from that
- Becoming more comfortable in conflict
- What kind of community do we want to be?
-Hard to make rules as all white people for the whole diverse community
-Creating a group of providers that is accountable to both the community and ourselves; we acknowledge the limitation of this group given that only includes white providers.
-Local Black providers may not be in a place to do emotional labor right now even if they are paid; there’s not enough emotional safety right now; let’s try to make some rules and then they can always be edited later through a non-white lens
-It’s a process; always going to have implicit bias
-We can be conscious and deliberate and try to do our best
-Wish we could be beyond this but we’re not
-We have to start somewhere; maybe the best we can do right now
-Rather than framing this as larger community (beyond our scope) thinking of this as just the group of 9 of us
What kind of community do we want to be? (For the 9 of us!)
-Whatever we talk about now is going to be molded and changed
-No model for this
-We are the model!
-Trying to bring to light exclusion, inequity, etc. in ED communities and we want to share this with our colleagues
-Maybe fleshing out these values more in future meeting?
Pace of Meetings
-What frequency do we want to meet in the future?
-Not going to get through everything
-Defining, determining direction, etc.
-Maybe the first few meetings a little more often at first would be helpful to keep momentum
7:15pm January 12th
7:15pm January 26th