Norman Kim, PhD
“Be the Change, Not the System: Clinicians as Allies in Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Treatment of Eating Disorders”
Systemic racism has pervasive impacts on those suffering from eating disorders as well as those engaged in trying to alleviate that suffering. People from marginalized and minoritized communities must often also grapple with additional stigma and marginalization, macro- and micro-aggressions, discrimination and marginalization, and the well-documented confluence of stressors associated with minority status, putting people from these communities at particularly high risk for the development of disordered eating behaviors and their attendant consequences. Additionally eating disorder clinicians must recognize that, along with our clients, we are affected by and reflective of the structures of the society in which we are immersed, structures which disproportionately disadvantage people from marginalized communities. There is almost nothing more important in establishing an antiracist clinical practice than acknowledging the unconscious biases upon which we act, and which must be brought to our conscious awareness if we are to operate in an antiracist fashion. More than just advocating for our clients, we must be active allies working to combat the ubiquitous and myriad consequences of discrimination and bigotry. We explore authentic allyship that focuses on actions over rhetoric and discuss the importance of social justice approaches in our clinical work to both elevate and deepen our work with ameliorating the impacts of eating disorders. We will focus on applying an antiracism framework to addressing injustices in our clinical practice and acting as allies and advocates for those struggling with EDs.
- Attendees will be able to identify and understand the roles which providers’ own racial consciousness play in their work with clients (across all racial groups).
- Attendees will be able to better describe the impact of racial trauma on clients with eating disorders.
- Attendees will discuss two ways in which providers can actively engage as authentic allies and advocates to improve their practices.
Dr. Kim is the inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Center for Practice Innovation at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and the NY State Office of Mental Health, and the co-founder of the Institute for Antiracism and Equity, a social justice focused consultancy. He completed his B.A. at Yale and his Ph.D. in Psychology at UCLA. His research and clinical interests include the social development of people with autism, the developmental course of bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. In conjunction Norman has developed an expertise in psychiatrically complex populations, and his primary areas of interest are the application of a transdiagnostic framework for eating disorders, taking an evolutionary approach to shame and anxiety, and minority mental health. He is a regular national and international speaker, educator, and passionate advocate with a particular focus on minority status and barriers to mental health care in marginalized communities. He was the founding co-chair of the BIPOC Committee of IAEDP, on the inaugural Behavioral Health Taskforce for the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and serves on numerous advisory boards. Most recently Norman was the Deputy Director of Ayana Therapy, a tech startup focused on providing culturally intelligent, adapted, and accessible care to marginalized communities, and was the co-founder of Reasons Eating Disorder Center.