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SIOP President Eden King Focuses on Diversity and Inclusion


Image of a Friendship BenchAfter accepting the ceremonial gavel from outgoing president Talya Bauer, Eden King spoke from the heart about her presidential vision during the 34th Annual SIOP Conference closing plenary.

She used her brief remarks to highlight issues of diversity and inclusion that are important both nationally and to the Society, issues her body of work makes her eminently qualified to address.

Dr. King began her powerfully simple speech with the image of a “Friendship Bench” and a tale of how it is used to encourage inclusivity at her daughter’s school.

“Our psychological and physical health is improved with our sense of connection to others,” she observed and asked, “When have you felt like you belonged at SIOP?”

After highlighting several experiences that strengthened her bond with SIOP, King said, “Simply, that is my vision for SIOP, for all of us. I want our memories to be full of these belongingness moments”

She then extended her personal welcome to all members and concluded, “But to achieve a broader sense of belongingness and this overall vision, we need to examine where we are as a community and make positive changes.”

She announced the formation of two task forces to help achieve her vision. The first, chaired by Stefanie Johnson, is charged with using existing data to help SIOP become more inclusive as a society.  Lilia Cortina is chairing the second task force, focused on improving SIOP’s policies and procedures related to harassment.  See a full listing of the task force members below.

“But the challenge is for all of us, and I hope you will accept it,” Dr. King said. “I hope you will think of ways that you can be more inclusive.” She then introduced a bylaws amendment that would add a portfolio officer for Diversity and Inclusion to the SIOP Executive Board. 

In January of this year, the Executive Board unanimously approved the bylaws amendment, originally proposed last April, for a membership vote.  Membership Services Officer Allan Church collaborated with Talya Bauer and Eden King to draft the proposal, which was suggested by the chairs of several of the subcommittees in that portfolio, including CEMA Chair Enrica Ruggs; Ismael Diaz, then chair of the LGBTQ Committee; and Mindy Bergman, then chair of the Women’s Inclusion Network.

King concluded her discussion of the proposed amendment by saying “I urge you to enthusiastically endorse and gleefully vote for this important addition to SIOP.”




Watch the nine-minute video of her remarks for Dr. King’s full discussion of the amendment and how it would affect board structure. 

Formal notification of the proposed amendment and comment period will be issued soon.  Current voting members of the society will receive e-mail notification and the text will be published on the SIOP website.


Inclusion Task Force, Chaired by Stefanie Johnson


Vivian Woo

Danielle King

Amanda Anderson

Juan Madera

Allan Church

Ismael Diaz

Mindy Bergman

Kate Frear

Harassment Policy Task Force, chaired by Lilia Cortina


Isis Settles

Dana Kabat-Farr

Sandy Herschovis

Kathrina Rothblum

Carra Sims

Ben Walsh

Lisa Kath

Jennifer Berdahl

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