Cultural Humility, Equity and Diversity Committee (CHEDC)

New Committee Name: From Diversity Committee to Cultural Humility, Equity and Diversity Committee!

After feedback from the NADTA Membership and after careful consideration of the mission of the Diversity Committee we proposed and had approved  through the NADTA Board of Directors, a committee name change.This name better articulates and reflects the scope and complexity of the committee as outlined in the NADTA Bylaws. Most recently, Cultural Humility, Equity and Intersectionality have been at the forefront of critical conversations on marginalization, stigma and oppression. The committee wants to stay in step with what is happening in our greater social justice communities, organizations and educational institutions. The new CHEDC committee is committed to continuously reflecting the complexity and lifelong learning that is imperative while understanding ones own experience as well as learning from others with diverse backgrounds. We encourage you to take part in our community Racial Justice Dialogue and Equity Calls to be part of these important community conversations as well as contribute by filling out our Phase 1 Survey (Drama Therapists Against White Supremacy Campaign).

Our Commitment to Diversity--The NADTA has a significant history of championing the dignity, visibility, and accessibility of its members. As our Code of Ethics indicates, the NADTA does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, or any basis prescribed by law (sec. 5.a). In addition to this, the NADTA seeks to promote cultural competency, humility, and sensitivity towards the responsible practice of drama therapy (sec. 2, 4, and 7). Understanding how these aspects of identity intersect and influence human experience is vital to ethical practice.

Click Here for Resources for #DramaTherapistsAgainstWhiteSupremacy

Organizational resources addressing Cultural Humility, Equity and Intersectionality & Diversity

1. NADTA Cultural Response/ability Guidelines
2. American Psychological Association New Guidelines
3. National Association of Social Workers
4. Canadian Council for Arts Equity
5. American For the Arts Statements on Cultural Equity

Diversity Calls

Diversity Calls are community conversations about social equity concerns. A space for members to share concerns, improve practice and strategize for a more equitable future. Click Here to see upcoming as well as past calls.


Black Lives Matter, May 2015
Opposition to Homophobic & Transphobic Laws
Orlando and LGBT2SIQ Communities​: Condolences & Outrage
Black Lives Matter, September 2016 
Confronting Islamophobic Violence & Discrimination
Opposition to American Government Administration’s Rescinding of the Federal Guidance to Title IX
Health Care & Accessibility
A Call for Racial Justice & Action
Gun Violence
Standing up For Children and Families
NADTA Tribute to Stonewall - Finding our queer selves inside the hetero legacy: a call for LGBTQ+ drama therapists

Looking for Volunteers:
•    Looking for diversity, equity and inclusion trainings in your area, DO YOU KNOW ANY? Let’s build this knowledge together.
•    Help the Diversity Committee: Training, Website, Fundraising, Demographic Member Collection, New Ideas…

Please contact Stephanie at


This is a timeline of this effort constructed with the help of past presidents: Alice Forrester, Sherry Diamond, and Nisha Sajnani and as of December 2017 current Diversity Chair Stephanie Wichmann.

December 2017-Present: Stephanie Wichmann becomes the Diversity Chair.

October 2018: Diversity Committee name change to Cultural Humility, Equity and Diversity Committee

2014-2017: Jessica Bleuer becomes the Diversity Chair.
The NADTA has its second Diversity Conference called Magnetic Forces: Working with Attraction and Aversion to Difference and Social Justice, co-chaired by Daniela Bustamante and Lizzie McAdam, with Christine Mayor as the Program chair. This conference presented members with many opportunities to explore working across difference, social equity and drama therapists' role in addressing injustice inside and outside of session. Nisha Sajnani leads a team working with Jessica Bleuer Diversity Chair and Diversity Committee to construct the Guidelines on Cultural Response/ability in Training, Research, Practice, Supervision, Advocacy & Organizational Change. These guidelines are ratified by NADTA Board, June 18, 2015. 

The Diversity Committee begins to have regular Diversity Calls on different social equity issues and to collaborate in the writing of position statements about different social injustices that impact our members, clients and our communities.   

The editorial team of Drama Therapy Review, the official journal of the NADTA, makes a decision to translate all abstracts into French and Spanish in an effort to be more inclusive, increasingly reflective of the Association's North American membership, and to expand the readership of the journal.

2013: The NADTA hosts its first bilingual conference in Montreal. The Board approves a policy concerning accessibility. Ethics Chairs Maria Hodermarska, in collaboration with the ethics committee and in consultation with the Board and Diversity Committee, puts forth revisions to the Code of Ethics that include language concerning cultural competency and gender-neutral language.  President-elect Nadya Trytan chairs the Bylaw Committee that presents the membership with revisions to the bylaws reflecting the inclusion of a Diversity Chair and Research Chair. These bylaws are approved at the annual members meeting in September 2013. On November 22nd, Michelle J. Buckle is appointed as the first Diversity Chair on the Board of the North American Drama Therapy Association.

2012: The Diversity Committee is co- chaired by Daniela Bustamente and Amber Smith who are instrumental in providing consultation on various areas of the organization’s practice. For example, in collaboration with Jennifer Johnson, Membership Chair, the annual membership survey is revised to include questions pertaining to diversity. Under the leadership of Nisha Sajnani, the NADTA Board approves the addition of the Diversity Chair and a Research Chair to the Board.

2011: The membership votes in favor of a change in name from the National Association for Drama Therapy (NADT) to the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) to better include Canadian members and to better reflect the scope of this organization's impact in North America.

2009: Under the leadership of Kate Hurd, the NADT Board engages in consultation with Sherry Diamond to become increasingly accessible as an organization especially to those who are hearing impaired and sets aside funds annually to ensure that conferences are accessible.

2007: The first Diversity Forum is held at an annual NADT conference facilitated by Nisha Sajnani, chair of the first formal Diversity Committee. This forum focuses on intersecting identities. Over 100 people are in attendance. Forums are held every year that follows and have to date offered the membership opportunities to have conversations about race, sexual orientation, indigenous realities, power and privilege.

2003-to present: Each conference continues to explore issues surrounding diversity and social justice through workshops, caucuses and committee meetings.

2003: Under the leadership of Sherry Diamond, the board conducts an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization with the membership during the Portland, Oregon conference business meeting. The SWOT analysis reveals opportunities to better attend to the diversity within the organization and amongst those with whom members work. An international caucus is added to the growing subgroups within the then informal Diversity committee. 

2002: Co-chaired by President Alice Forrester and President-elect Sherry Diamond, the NADT convenes its first conference focused solely on Diversity, in Albuquerque, NM. Armand Volkas is invited to give the keynote address where he presents, through personal narrative and playback theatre, on intolerance and oppression. During this conference our community participates in caucusing around various identities for the first time and Roslyn Taylor O’Neale, a nationally recognized diversity trainer, is brought in to give a conference-wide training on the first morning, and a closing training on the final day. She is assisted by Nisha Sajnani and Zeneida Disla Thorne.

2001: In response to the passing of activist and drama therapist, Raymond Jacobs, the board of the NADT with the guidance of Alice Forrester creates a memorial diversity award in his name and presents the first award to Norman Fedder.

2000: Sherry Diamond & Carlos Rodriguez-Perez organize the first, albeit informal, diversity committee and meet at the annual conference at Cathedral Hill in San Francisco. Six people are in attendance.

1999: Alice facilitates strategic planning session for the Board out of which comes the need to address issues surrounding diversity and creating a "Culture of Welcome."

1999: In recognition of the NADT’s MA program at Concordia In Montreal, Quebec, its    first round of drama therapy graduates, and our growing Canadian membership, Alice Forrester creates a Canadian Region Representative position on the Board and appoints Susan Ward to the post.

Related Information



Have you seen the NADTA ratified Cultural Response/Ability Guidelines? 

DTAWS Phase 2 Resources

Committee Members:

Stephanie Wichmann Diversity Chair

Adam Stevens

Jessica Bleuer

Diana Elizabeth Jordan

Kamran Afray

Craig Flickinger

Sarah Kliger

Jordan Stewart