TIMELINE

This is a timeline of this effort constructed with the help of past presidents: Alice Forrester, Sherry Diamond, Nisha Sajnani, Jessica Bleuer, and as of January 2018 current Diversity Chair Stephanie Wichmann.

December 2018-Present: Stephanie Wichmann becomes the Diversity Chair.

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

2014-2018: 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 initiates various social justice initiatives:

The Diversity Committee begins facilitating Diversity Calls on different social equity issues held every two months.

At the request of a member, the Diversity Committee launches  Black Lives Matter, its first social position statement written by Nisha Sajnani, Carmen White, Britton Williams, and Amber Smith. The  Diversity Committee proceeds to write 8 more position statements on Black lives matter, against homophobic and transphobic laws and hate crimes, Islamophobic violence, Health care accessiblity and racial justice, all topics that negatively impact the health and wellbeing of our clients, members and larger communities.  

In 2017, the Diversity Committee begins facilitating Racial Justice Dialogues, comprising of 15 virtual events in which 200+ people participated to speak about racial injustice, the lived experiences of racialized minorities and social activism that should arise from NADTA members.  Listening to the feedback from these calls, Jessica Bleuer conceptualizes the first NADTA Racial Justice Campaign, Drama Therapists Against White Supremacy Campaign  and collaboratively with Adam Stevens launch a campaign that gathers 134 members ideas at the closing ceremony of the 2017 NADTA Conference.  Jessica Bleuer and Adam Stevens write the campaign with contributions from Christine Mayor, Britton Williams and Nisha Sajnani and In 2018,  with the support of Diversity Chair Stephanie Whichman and the CHDEC Committee Phase 1 of the Drama Therapists Against White Supremacy Campaign is launched.

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.