Update from the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee

wordle of diversity equity and inclusion

I wanted to introduce myself as the new chairperson of the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee. I joined the EMDR association UK board in March 2022. An EDI committee was mentioned at the first remote EMDR conference in March 2021. Following this a working group was set up in April 2021. Louise Mackinney had been the interim chairperson who took the responsibility for driving the genesis of the EDI Committee and did a fabulous job getting the ball rolling. The official EDI Committee was approved by the board in November 2021 and I became the chairperson in September 2022.

We have some wonderful EDI committee members who are passionate about promoting and working with diversity, ensuring equitable and inclusive practice. EMDR UK is keen to have EDI systemically present throughout the association rather than just a committee. We are working collectively with other committees to integrate EDI into our practice. Please do bear with us, as it will take some time as we develop a sustainable and ever evolving way of working with the feedback we receive. The current EDI committee members include:

  • Beverley Carrington: EDI Committee member;
  • Fiona Corbett: EDI Committee member;
  • Heena Chudasama: Current chairperson, board member;
  • Kevin Dudman: EDI Committee member;
  • Kathryn Gough: EDI Committee member;
  • Russell Hurn EDI Committee member, chairperson of the Child and Adolescent Committee, member of the Communications Committee;
  • Louise Mackinney: EDI Committee member, Louise was the interim chairperson of the EDI Committee until Heena was appointed chairperson in September 2022. Secretary to the board of trustees, chairperson of Governance Committee, interim chairperson and co-ordinator of the Special Interest Groups and Regional Groups; and
  • Syed Ali Naqvi: EDI Committee member.

As a committee we are committed to creating an inclusive association where we all benefit from a variety of perspectives. We will continue to open up a discussion on how we can evolve to ensure it is an innovative, inclusive, rich and diverse space, which welcomes all therapists regardless of difference including, but not limited to, the level of training, approach to EMDR therapy, age, race, ethnicity, culture, disability, gender, gender identity and gender expression, sex, sexuality, neurodiversity, pregnancy, maternity, paternity and religious practices. Diversity is one thing we all have in common and by embracing equality and diversity, we can create a collective, nurturing, and compassionate environment which enables the Association and its events to develop. We are all accountable for equality, diversity and inclusion and must work together to identify and act on situations where people might suffer disadvantage.

Equally, the committee and I are eager to learn about your intersectional experiences, passions and what impacts your accessibility to the association events, your ability to contribute and feel a part of the organisation, the therapeutic world and society. I have been honoured to be able to talk with a few of our members about hearing loss, visual impairments and experiences of discrimination and unconscious bias and microaggression they have been subjected to within their professional lives. Following these conversations actions were put in place to ensure inclusion by placing value and importance on what members share and their experiences. Later in 2023 some podcasts relating to these areas will be available here. Of course these will also be advertised on the bulletin board.

It is important that we are able to make informed decisions within the organisation in order to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate and meet known needs. For this to happen we do need to hear from our members. I would urge you to connect via email or in person at the conference (and other events). I would encourage each member to think about contributing to the association. This may be writing about your experiences for ETQ, doing a podcast or running an event/webinar.  We are also running a survey which will be live from March 13 to April 17 to gain feedback from the membership and associated partners to understand your experiences. Lastly, we are hoping to run some focus groups around various EDI issues, if you would like to take part please do email me. 

For any further information or to get in contact about anything mentioned above please email me on hchudasama@emdrassociation.org.uk