December 7, 2019
Dear HANP members and our naturopathic friends and colleagues,
It is with great sadness that we write to you about an incident that sent reverberations through our hearts and our community. We are deeply disturbed by the racially offensive language recently used by a speaker at a homœopathic seminar at NUHS on October 26, 2019, and we are pained by the impact these comments have had on all of us. The HANP takes this incident and all acts of intolerance seriously. Such incidents threaten the core values of our profession and require a thorough and thoughtful response to allow our community to heal.
Since this incident, we have engaged in soul searching as a board and as individuals. Like many of you, we too are in the process of assessing our own understanding of hatred and bias and calling on our friends and family to help us recover. We are also actively formulating a plan of action. This incident has been extremely upsetting for us given that many look up to this speaker as a scholar and leader in our homœopathic community.
Slurs and discrimination of any type, including racism, have no place in medicine or in our healing profession. Such messaging creates barriers and serves to alienate valued members of our community. We are stronger and more effective when we are all engaged and working together. As members of a healing community, we may think we are immune to the hatred and bigotry that still plagues our society. Incidents like this remind us that we must be vigilant and challenge ourselves to grow, to be better, to do better, and to be leaders for positive change in our profession and our society.
We write you to let you know that the HANP is determined to learn from this experience and is committed to positive change. We are working diligently to implement a concrete plan of action that fosters healing within our community. We are confident that together we can grow from this experience and create a stronger and more inclusive community as a result.
The HANP’s plan of action includes the following:
- Require all HANP board members to complete cultural sensitivity, diversity and inclusiveness training.
- Provide cultural sensitivity, diversity and inclusiveness training to HANP members and speakers.
- Ensure the HANP Code of Conduct specifically addresses discrimination of all types.
- Require speakers to sign and agree to the HANP Code of Conduct in a contract before presenting on behalf of the HANP. Additionally, we will require this retrospectively of speakers whose educational materials are currently available through the HANP.
- Develop policies and procedures that specifically address violations of the HANP Code of Conduct.
- Require the speaker involved in the aforementioned incident to complete cultural sensitivity, diversity and inclusiveness training in order for his courses to remain active on the HANP website.
We have already begun to work on this action plan immediately and will have it completed by the end of our February 2020 board retreat. During these difficult times, we thank you for your continued commitment to the HANP and look forward to your participation as we implement this plan of action. It is through struggle and challenge that growth emerges and we view this as an opportunity to bring our community closer together.
The HANP Board