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ADA House rescinds The Dentist’s Prayer, amends recognition of religious diversity policy to be more inclusive

January 27, 2020

By Mary Beth Versaci

In an effort to advance the Association's diversity and inclusion efforts, the ADA House of Delegates voted at its meeting in September to rescind the policy titled "The Dentist's Prayer," used by some state and local dental societies during their meetings, and amend its policy on recognition of religious diversity.

The ADA Board of Trustees had charged its Diversity and Inclusion Committee with considering the role of faith and religion in the Association, as well as The Dentist's Prayer, following a House vote in 2018 referring the prayer for further study and report.

Photo of Judith Fisch
Dr. Judith Fisch
"The Diversity and Inclusion Committee thought long and hard about Resolutions 74H and 75H," said Dr. Judith Fisch, former 1st District trustee who served as chair of the committee when the resolutions passed. "We discussed the appropriateness and necessity of faith and religion in a health professional organization. The committee considered best practices and agreed that religious diversity must include those with different beliefs as well as those who are not religious."

In support of the committee's findings, the board recommended to the House that it pass Resolution 74H-2019, removing the prayer from ADA policy, and Resolution 75H-2019, updating the recognition of religious diversity policy to reflect a neutral policy stance that "positions the ADA to appeal to the broadest range of members and potential members with varying beliefs, mindsets and expectations."

In amending the recognition of religious diversity policy, the House resolved that Association meetings may begin with "a personal moment of reflection or silent prayer."

"Our goal is for the ADA to foster inclusivity and respect each member's personal life choices," Dr. Fisch said. "Therefore, the committee voted in support of both resolutions and agreed that religious diversity must be reflected accurately in ADA policy."

To learn more about the ADA's commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit ADA.org/en/about-the-ada/diversity-and-inclusion.