Multicultural & Diversity Committee
The Multicultural and Diversity Committee (MDC) works to increase multicultural awareness, knowledge, and competency in the organizational structure of the ADTA, its membership community and related academic training, practice, and research areas of dance/movement therapy. MDC works to ensure that existing mono-cultural barriers to diversity and multiculturalism are mitigated. The committee is responsible for developing, communicating, and maintaining inclusive perspectives that respect and recognize all individuals and groups. The MDC promotes the retention of multicultural and diverse professional and student members through outreach Affinity Groups. The MDC produces resources and projects that inform or advise the Board of Directors and the ADTA membership on multicultural perspectives.
Contact Charne’ to get involved:
- Akiko “kiki” Nishida
- Christine Hopkins
- Heidi Wentworth
- Julia Cuccaro
- Warin Tapayayone
- Kimberlee Bow
- Meg Chang
- Erika Barrington
- Heidi Langraf
- Rosey Puloka
- Lysa Monique Jenkins-Hayden
Click here for member bios.
Affinity groups are forming to serve as resources to student and professional dance/movement therapists. Get involved by contacting an affinity group representative! Some groups are actively meeting and some need YOUR energy to get moving.
- Allies for Social Justice
- Asian & Asian-American
- Black American & African Descendants
- Office of Afro-Latino Relations
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual +
- Spirituality Affinity Group
Allies for Social Justice (ASJ) Affinity Group
Allies for Social Justice is a newly forming learning and supporting community dedicated to social justice issues. ASJ seeks to educate its members on the history and forms of racism, homophobia, classism, and religious clashing in efforts to reduce discriminatory acts towards non-dominate groups. ASJ will partner with the Multicultural & Diversity Committee affinity groups to support non-dominant DMT members (non-white, non-heterosexual, non-Christian, etc.) in efforts to discover and change historical monocultural practices that thwart efforts at multiculturalism within the DMT community. ASJ is also committed to learning best practices from other ally groups outside of the DMT field, and will collaborate and host events with other national and local ally groups.
The ASJ website is currently under construction. Please visit us in the near future for more information about interest, membership, and events.
Are you a white person who:
- Wonders why people are still talking about race in a “post-racist” society?
- Wants to ask questions about race and racism that may or may not be “politically correct”?
- Wishes to engage in cross-racial dialogue while skillfully handling your own defensive responses and those of others?
- Would like to develop healthy white racial identity and pride, as well as consideration and sensitivity towards other racial groups?
ASJ is currently accepting interest, membership and leadership* requests. Please use officer e-mail addresses (below) for contact while website is being developed.
- See below for open position descriptions.
President: Julia Cuccaro is a Drexel University Master’s Degree Candidate, currently in the process of completing her thesis, “An Exploration of Dance/Movement Therapy for Asian American Clients with Depressive Symptons.” She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Julia has membership with the Alpha Eta Society, the National Scholastic Honor Society for Allied Health Professions. She is especially interested in expoloring the distinctive ways in which mental health and mental illness manifest in various cultures and socioeconomic classes and how to best approach treatment with an understanding of these differences. She continues to choreograph and perform modern dance in the Philadelphia area. Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
Vice President: Emily Nussdorfer, MA, BC-DMT, is a dance/movement therapist with over 20 years experience teaching and performing creative dance and theater, and 10 years of providing dance/movement therapy services. She is the founder of Moving Creations, Inc. (www.movingcreationsinc.org) a non-profit dedicated to providing youth development, leadership training, and supportive services for underserved minority teens living in economically vulnerable neighborhoods through the creative and performing arts. As an activist for social change, she views the creative and performing arts as vehicles for cross-cultural dialogue and healing, as well as self transformation. She is committed to promoting sustainable diversity within the ADTA and in her work with youth and communities. Please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Strategic Planning: Lysa Monique Jenkins-Hayden, MA, is a graduate of the Drexel University Dance/Movement Therapy Program. Her thesis entitled “Movement Encounters in Black and White: Understanding race and cultural competence in DMT” underscored the need for the creation of the Black American and African Descendents (BAAD) group and sparked her passion to begin it. She is a charter member of the Multicultural & Diversity Committee and the founding member of two affinity groups: BAAD and ASJ. She earned her BS in business administration, with a marketing concentration, and a communications minor from St. Joseph’s University. She is the owner and clinical director of Infinitely Inspired Therapeutic Arts (I2TA). Lysa Monique has been a social researcher investigating quality of life issues for ethnic minorities in America and she currently facilitates workshops on multicultural competence, holistic living, and marketing for small businesses. Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
Director of Collaborative Events: Open position to be filled
Duties: Function as secondary spokesperson to communicate ASJ mission and objectives. Assist coordinating collaborative events between ASJ and other MDC affinity groups (BAAD, OALR, AAAAG, LGBTQ, etc.).
Secretary of Strategic Planning: Open position to be filled
Duties: Perform the routine functions necessary to implement ASJ strategic plans under the direction of the President, Vice President, or other Executive Directors. Record the history of ASJ meetings, conferences, and strategic progress. Coordinate ASJ presence at ADTA Annual Conference.
Treasurer/Director of Fiscal Relations: Open position to be filled
Duties: Design and implement strategy to finance ASJ strategic initiatives. Suggest and implement fundraising and membership donation strategies. Design project budgets and monitor project spending. Provide strategy in the prioritization of fiscal initiatives.
Asian & Asian-American Affinity Group (AAAAG)
Due to the growth in the profession of dance/movement therapy, we now have dance/movement therapists serving in countries across the globe. The American Dance Therapy Association has set and monitored standards for the professionals and has been supportive to members and allied professionals. However, according to the International Caucus Meeting Survey, there are concerns in the following areas: education/research information/resources, connection/networking, emotional support, and career/supervision in the USA and/or back to ones own country. In the small number of DMT’s of-color, Asians are probably the most numerous. Upon reviewing the survey given at the International Membership Committee at the ADTA Annual Conference in Austin, TX in 2008, 14 out of 21 participants were from Asian countries. In an effort to address the concerns above, as Asian dance/movement therapists abroad, we feel an Asian & Asian-American Affinity Group may be beneficial to many members.
To establish an Asian & Asian-American Affinity Group to provide a community for Asian DMTs.
- To provide educational and research information relating to DMT and encourage Asian DMTs to conduct clinical DMT research.
- To establish a communications medium within Asian DMTs, as well as national DMT communities.
- To foster a supportive environment for perspective, new, and existing Asian DMTs.
- To provide needed information pertaining to employment in the USA, as well as ones own country.
The AAAAG will be led by Warin Tepayayone and Akiko (kiki) Nishida. Stacey Hurst, Mimi Berger, and Meg Chang will act as senior advisors. A representative from each Asian country may be asked to help bridge the AAAAG to their country.
Help the membership of the ADTA to grow. Guide the Asian DMTs as they navigate their way through their profession.
Create an Asian Dance/Movement Therpy Conference in an Asian Country.
Within this media Asian professionals can share educational information, research, and concerns related to being an Asian DMT abroad and at home. This tool should foster and encourage a supportive environment for the all potential as well as existing Asian DMTs.
AAAAG also offers support to all members who are interested in Asian Culture.
E-mail us with any questions/concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
Black American & African Descendants (BAAD) Affinity Group
BAAD was formed in 2009 to unite, organize, and support Black dance/movement therapy students and professionals in an effort to develop an approach to dance/movement therapy (DMT) that is consistent with the experience of Black people within the Americas and internationally. BAAD has assessed that expanding its learning and awareness outside the DMT paradigm to create partnerships with other mental health fields and culturally indigenous healing practitioners and customs is important. This approach is also consistent with cultural competent standards. Therefore, an important goal of the BAAD affinity group is to stimulate cross-disciplinary discussion among Black mental health and holistic healing professionals, in order to advance the needs of Black students, professionals, and mental health consumers. BAAD’s cross-disciplinary approach to discussion and research is also intended to raise awareness about DMT in the minds of other mental health practitioners. Our members are committed to engaging in a self-reflective journey in order to increase their own multicultural competence as mental health professionals.
Please visit the BAAD website to read more about organizational goals, upcoming events and meetings.
Questions? Requests? Click on the “Contact Us” page on the BAAD website to submit.
- Are you a Black DMT student or professional who wants to commune with other Black DMT students or professionals?
- Are you a Black DMT student or professional who does not feel as connected to the ADTA as you would have hoped?
- Have you produced or published DMT or mental health research on Black, African, or Latino populations and wish to have a support community to publish it professionally?
BAAD is accepting interest, membership, and leadership* requests.
*Please see below for open position descriptions.
Officer Profiles (see full bios on BAAD website)
National Founder & President: Lysa Monique Jenkins-Hayden, MA, is a graduate of the Drexel University Dance/Movement Therapy Program. Her thesis entitled “Movement Encounters in Black and White: Understanding Race and Cultural Competence in DMT” underscored the need for the creation of the BAAD group and sparked her passion to begin it. She is a charter member of the Multicultural & Diversity Committee (MDC) and the founding member of Black American and African Descendents (BAAD) and Allies for Social Justice (ASJ). She earned her BS in business administration, with a marketing concentration, and a communications minor from St. Joseph’s University. She is the owner and clinical director of Infinitely Inspired Therapeutic Arts (I2TA).
National Vice President: Angela Tatum Fairfax, PhD, LPC, BC-DMT, NCC, is a 2003 graduate of Drexel University/Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy – Dance/Movement Therapy Program. She is in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware and works in a culturally diverse behavioral health hospital in North Philadelphia providing dance/movement therapy groups for people with chronic mental disorders and/or substance abuse problems. She is the new Chair of the Multicultural & Diversity Committee (MDC).
National Director of Research & Professional Development: Crista Gambrell, PhD, LPC, NCC, is a counselor in residence and an Alternate Route student in dance/movment therapy. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Phd in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University. National Director of Student Relations: Romain Diaz, BS, majored in kinesiology at Penn State University and is currently a Master’s degree candidate at Drexel University’s Dance/Movement Therapy Program. Romain’s thesis research is focused on “Praise Dance: It’s form, role and experience in supporting mental health for dancers of an African American congregation.
National Director of PR & Advertising: Open position to be filled
Duties: Function as secondary spokesperson to communicated BAAD’s mission and objectives. Assist in raising visibility of the DMT profession among other mental health professions. Assist in raising awareness regarding Afro-centric applications of DMT research and practice models. Maintain communication system for information dissemination through various media outlets (website, Facebook, etc.). Plan collaborative efforts with ADTA Public Relations Committee.
National Secretary of Strategic Planning: Open position to be filled
Duties: Perform the routine functions necessary to implement BAAD strategic plans under the direction of the President, Vice President, or other Executive Directors. Record the history of Office of Afro-Latino Relations (OALR) meetings, conferences, and strategic progress. Coordinate OALR presence at ADTA Annual Conference.
National Treasurer/Director of Fiscal Relations: Open position to be filled
Duties: Design and implement strategy to finance BAAD strategic initiatives. Suggest and implement fundraising and membership donation strategies. Design project budgets and monitor project spending. Provide strategy in the prioritization of fiscal initiatives.
Office of Afro-Latino Relations
The Office of Afro-Latino Relations, formed in December 2010, intends to provide a professional, supportive community for Latinos of African Descent within the dance/movement therapy field, as well as in related fields. We are interested in creating cross-cultural dialogues and generating research on the therapeutic benefits of dances of African origin in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our group is committed to exploring and understanding the psychosocial and political reality of Afro-Latinos/Black Latinos in the United States, as well as in their countries of origin, its effects on mental health and on the access to resources and professional opportunities. Even though our focus is on Latinos within the African Diaspora, we are conscious of the different sentiments, historical perspectives, sensitivities, and cultural manifestations of the various Latino populations. Our members are committed to engaging in a self-reflective journey in order to increase their own multicultural competence as mental health professionals. We hope to contribute to the current DMT training an Afro-Latino perspective and ultimately devise a strength-based psychotherapeutic approach consistent with the needs of the Afro-Latino population.
- Are you an Afro-Latino DMT student or professional who wants to commune with other Afro-Latino DMT students and professionals?
- Are you an Afro-Latino DMT student or professional who does not feel as connected to the ADTA as you would have hoped?
- Have you produced or published DMT research on Black, African, or Latino populations and wish to have a support community to publish it professionally?
OALR is currently accepting interest, membership, and leadership* requests. Visit the OALR website and click on the “Contact Us” page.
*See below for open position descriptions.
Director of Afro-Latino Relations: Maria “Mara” Rivera, MA, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, was born and raised in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. She currently works as a dance/movement therapist in New York and has acquired extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with severe mental disorders and emotional disturbances. Maria has also traveled to Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica to research traditional dance forms and religion, which have highly contributed to her belief in traditional dance as a healing vehicle. Recently, she has re-explored her own traditional roots of Afro-Puerto Rican bomba dance, using its improvisational element to restore and maintain physical, emotional, and spiritual health. In 2008 and 2010, Maria served as co-faculty at the New School in NYC, for the summer course: “Intercultural Issues in Creative Art Therapies”, in which Afro-Caribbean dance was used as the vehicle to explore these themes. She currently serves as Public Relations Chair for the ADTA New York Chapter. She would like to help conduct research and create bridges between dance/movement therapy and African based forms of healing.
Assistant Director of Afro-Latino Relations: Renee Ortego, MA, R-DMT, resides in Brooklyn and recently graduated from Pratt’s Dance/Movement Therapy Program in 2010. She works at a pre-school with children with emotional delays and disturbances and special needs. In addition, she is an occupational therapy practitioner. She has been an educator in OTA and OT programs and is currently an assistant professor and academic fieldwork coordinator at LIU (Brooklyn campus) in the graduate OT program. As an independent dance artist, she is a member of a salsa dance company.
Assistant Director of Afro-Latino Relations: Yelimara Concepcion, MA, graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Master of Arts in Psychology, and is now a student at Pratt’s Dance/Movement Therapy Program. She is multi-talented and accomplished as an actress, choreographer, vocalist, and dancer. She has used her many talents to collaborate and perform with Afro-Puerto Rican bomba groups: Los Parranderos de Loiza y Orchestra, Eco de Tambores Loicenos, and BombaYo in Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, and New York; as well as with renowned reggaeton singer, La Sista. She is developing herself in the field of art therapy, taking classes in New School of NYC. She is presently working as an art therapy specialist in Harlem Children Zone Inc. and as a bomba dance instructor. She truly emphasizes and believes that the creative process of art can be both healing and life enhancing.
OALR Secretary of Strategic Planning: Open position to be filled
Duties: Perform the routine functions necessary to implement OALR strategic plans under the direction of the President, Vice President, or other Executive Directors. Record the history of OALR meetings, conferences, and strategic progress. Coordinate OALR presence at ADTA Annual Conference.
OALR Treasurer/Director of Fiscal Relations: Open position to be filled
Duties: Design and implement strategy to finance OALR strategic initiatives. Suggest and implement fundraising and membership donation strategies. Design project budgets and monitor project spending. Provide strategy in the prioritization of fiscal initiatives.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Affinity Group
Contact coordinator: Rosey Puloka – email@example.com
Mission: The LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group provides a space for LGBTQIA+ dance/movement therapists to gather, dialogue, build relationship, and create community.
Vision: The LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group envisions all LGBTQIA+ members to feel seen, heard, felt, and welcomed in the American Dance Therapy Association.
Values: The LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group values intersectional feminist approaches to relationship and collective liberation. By valuing intersectional feminism this group acknowledges the ways in which overlapping systems of oppression affect its members, those we serve, and the organization at large. By valuing collective liberation we dismiss the common one savior narrative and instead view the strength of our wholeness as greater than the sum of our parts.
Spirituality Affinity Group
- Spirituality is an integral aspect of healing
- Physical, emotional, and mental healing can occur on a deeper level if spirituality is also addressed and part of the process
- There are many, many spiritual and religious paths with value, importance, and significance
- Each person is unique and each person is similar to others in various ways including spiritual ways
- Examining one’s own values, culture, and customs increases one’s ability to see another’s perspective and point of view
- To help dance/movement therapists identify their own spiritual path
- To find ways for dance/movement therapists to incorporate spirituality into therapy in ethical, appropriate, and therapeutic ways
- To provide a safe place for dance/movement therapists of different spiritual paths to share insight and informatio
- To assist dance/movement therapists in letting go of old ways of thinking about “us” vs. “them” in all aspects of life and in therapy in particular
- To develop new relationships with people traveling different or similar spiritual paths in the dance/movement therapy community
- To explore new ways of helping clients value, think about, and experience spirituality
Coordinator: Heidi McCardell Wentworth, LPC, R-DMT, NCC
Please feel free to contact her at Heidi_wentworth@antiochne.edu