Advancing health through science, education and medicine

2018 ACSM Election

Trustee Candidate: Health Equity/Inclusion/Diversity

Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., MSPH, FACSM
Assistant Professor
University of Minnesota
School of Kinesiology
Minneapolis, MN

1.  Please list your previous service to ACSM.

I joined ACSM in 2003 as a graduate student. Over the years, I have planned, collaborated, and presented several symposia, tutorials, and oral/poster presentations and served in the following capacities:

  • EIM Underserved Populations Committee member, 2011-2017
  • Peer reviewer for MSSE, 2012-present
  • Presidential appointee to Board of Trustees, 2015-2016
  • Minority Health and Research Interest Group chair/co-chair, 2015-2017
  • Leadership & Diversity Training Program Level III Mentor, 2017-present (Level III participant in 2008-2009)

2. What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?

ACSM’s greatest strength is the diversity of its growing membership body and the multiplicity of ideas, research, perspectives, opinions and experiences of members represented at the regional and national levels. In 2003, when I joined ACSM as a graduate student, I did not identify with the organization very much. My research interests focused on a public health perspective to physical activity and exercise, while ACSM seemed to concentrate heavily on basic and applied exercise science. Additionally, I am an African-American female and the membership of ACSM seemed to be dominated by white males. I remembered feeling very out of place and excluded and thinking that ACSM did not have a place for a person like me. However, over the years, as I became more involved by attending and presenting at annual meetings, networking with colleagues from diverse disciplines and serving on various committees, I saw that I truly do have a place in the future of ACSM – that I am the future of ACSM. In a span of 15 years, I have witnessed the diversification and expansion of both its membership and its research scope at scientific meetings. Several Past Presidents have made it their presidential platform to promote diversity in regard to gender, race/ethnicity, international status, disability status, and the like. Great progress has been made, but progress must continue.

Additionally, the further investment in training the next generation of scholars is key to ACSM becoming an even greater and stronger organization. I am among a new crop of ACSM leaders who have been mentored and supported to Fellowship through the Leadership & Diversity Training Program. If elected as a member of the Board of Trustees, I would continue this work in both diversity and mentorship. Some may say that this work has already been done and it is time to focus on other issues, but I would counter that given the current societal climate, ACSM as an organization must remain vigilant and continue to seek out the voices of all of its membership and provide opportunities for the younger generations to lead. The progressiveness in the representation of diversity and mentorship, coupled with ACSM’s rich historical legacy in exercise science and sports medicine, will position the organization to continue to be a leader in the field.

ACSM works closely with many other organizations, including associations, companies, philanthropies, and governmental agencies. Indicate those organizations/companies/agencies for which you play an advisory, consulting, or leadership role.

 I am currently a member of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) and the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Network of Minority Research Investigators and a past member of the American Public Health Association (APHA). I have partnered with MayaTech Corporation (, an applied social science research firm that provides public health research and evaluation, policy and legislative analysis, and program and technical support to various organizations on an NIH grant which is currently under review.

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