Member Center

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

(Looking for the 2020 JGC CEU Program? Sorry for the issue with our link - you can access that content here.)

Resources Supporting Racial and Social Justice 

Below are shared resources developed by NSGC, its members and other stakeholders related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this list thus far. If there are additional resources you believe are valuable additions to this list, please contact us at info@nsgc.org.

Books - click to view resources

Films and Documentaries - click to view resources

Series and Other Videos - click to view resources

Podcasts - click to view resources

Educational Websites, Articles and Series - click to view resources

NSGC Focus Groups

NSGC is continuing the important work to promote a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. NSGC is partnering with the Exeter Group, to gather and assess data, along with member and staff feedback, with a goal of developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan by the end of Q1 2021. To date, our work has included the administration of a NSGC Member DEI survey, as well as review of policies, processes and procedures.

At this time, we are looking for additional member input, through focus groups.

Exeter and NSGC selected the 24 focus groups using a data-driven approach based on findings from the DEI Member survey. Exeter acknowledges that all individuals have multiple aspects of their identity and, although participants will be responding in the focus group about their experience with respect to one part of their identity, it does not invalidate other aspects of their identity. As such, Exeter understands and expects that your experiences with other aspects of your identity will shape your perspectives and be present in your feedback, even if it is not the diversity dimension being discussed.

To volunteer to participate in focus groups, please complete the volunteer form online and indicate the focus groups in which you would like to participate. NOTE: You will only be able to participate in one group. You may volunteer for more than one, but will be selected to participate in one group, at most. 

Learn more about these focus groups with this FAQ document

Volunteer for a Focus Group

NSGC's Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

A guiding principle of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) is to integrate genetics and genomics to improve healthcare. As a society, we can only meet this goal by promoting the active participation and leadership of people with diverse identities, perspectives, and backgrounds. Starting within our organization and extending into the larger healthcare system, we seek to empower our members to advocate for themselves, each other, and the diverse people we strive to serve.

History and Responsibility

We know that a diverse and inclusive organization does not build itself, but must be created through sustained effort by leadership, staff, and each individual member. We acknowledge the history of genetic differences being used and misused to justify stark injustices and reinforce social inequalities. Within the membership and leadership of NSGC, we do not yet have adequate representation or inclusion of minority identities, a disparity that has influenced our policies and services. We are responsible for learning from the past in order to pursue equity in our profession.

Advocates for Underrepresented People

NSGC advocates for the wellbeing of all genetic counselors – present and future - and those who are served by these professionals. We recognize that individuals with underrepresented characteristics and identities face logistical, social, and historical pressures that impact their professional and personal lives. These characteristics include, but are not limited to; age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, country of origin, culture, language, religion, spiritual beliefs, legal status, health history, and disability. Furthermore, the various characteristics of an individual interact to inform their experiences and perspectives. We strive for a culture of equity that addresses these pressures so that diverse perspectives are respected and empowered in our organization.

Commitment to an Inclusive Future

As professionals working at the forefront of clinical genetics, we are witnessing an era of rapid advancements. We recognize the duty to use our skills and knowledge for the benefit of all people so that disparities in healthcare are not compounded by the power of genetics. The skills of genetic counselors are exactly those needed to promote a diverse and inclusive organization: empathy, tailored communication, problem solving, advocacy, and the ability to support people of all backgrounds through important moments in their lives. We acknowledge the need to extend the same types of support we are trained to provide to patients and clients to ourselves and our colleagues.

We know that over 98% of human genetic sequence is identical and our shared humanity unites us. Each of us has the need to feel respected, supported, and that we have a place where we can participate in a meaningful way. We also know that each person’s unique perspective gives them power to contribute to the greater good. NSGC commits to valuing those differences.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group

Purpose: The DEI Advisory Group is responsible for representing the voices of diverse genetic counselors, and serving in an advisory capacity in developing and implementing NSGC’s strategy with regard to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

  • Chair: Ambreen Khan
  • Vice-Chair: Deepti Babu

Do you have any questions or comments related to DEI that you want to share with NSGC? Use this form to share. Your questions, comments and feedback will be shared with the appropriate staff and NSGC leaders.

Cultural Representation and Outreach Subcommittee

The mission of the Cultural Representation and Outreach subcommittee (CROS), formally known as Cultural Competency subcommittee, is to foster a more diverse and culturally competent NSGC membership. This is done through active participation in outreach activities and recruitment events that support that mission, partnering with other genetic professionals to present at national conferences, and overall engaging in work to further promote the need of a more culturally diverse profession.

Contact:

Janette Z Lawrence, MS, LCGC jzlawrence@mgh.harvard.edu

Marjan Champine, MS, MBA, LCGC mchampine@ancestry.com

NSGCares

Purpose: NSGCares was established in 2020 to review requests for support from our members, highlight the good work of the NSGC membership, and manage local community involvement in conjunction with the Annual Conference, all of which can include initiatives having to do with diversity, equity and inclusion. 

  • Co-Chairs: Jay Flanagan and Sarah Noblin
  • Vice-Chair: Katie Bergstrom

Learn more about NSGCares 

Educational Opportunities

NSGC Online Course: The Formation of Implicit Biases and Practical Strategies to Address Them

NSGC 2019 Platform Presentations: Conversations around Diversity

Free, Online Educational Learning Modules through Lettercase for Medical Providers

Questions and Contacts

Have resources that you would like included on this page? Please contact Katie Strang.

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