Creating a wellness community that is inclusive furthers IIN’s mission of transforming health and happiness around the globe. It starts by celebrating our diverse community members and amplifying their stories. In this blog series, you’ll hear from IIN graduates and employees about their health and wellness experiences and why we must focus on not just inclusion and diversity, but also equity, when addressing the well-being of Black people.
Sandia Paul-Waller is a sales operational manager for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, where she works collectively with the sales and operation departments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and is currently working on her master’s of business in management at Pennsylvania State University. Before starting her career in the wellness and health industry in 2020, she gained over 20 years of experience in the consumer retail and finance industry. As a native New Yorker, Sandia enjoys attending health and wellness symposiums, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.
How did you find IIN? What about IIN inspired you?
“After spending 12 years working in the corporate financial sector, I was ready to embark on my journey of health – including both mental and physical wellness – while continuing my passion, which is helping others.
“I like to say that IIN found me! While manifesting a change in my wellness lifestyle, I came across an opportunity with IIN. I was inspired by IIN’s health and wellness initiative and global impact.”
How are you honoring/celebrating Black History Month? What does it mean to you?
“In our family, we celebrate Black history all day, every day – not just for Black History Month! Honoring our history is about remembering who we are and who we’ve been, including the changes, victories, humanity, and spirit!
“Now more than ever, I take the opportunity to celebrate Black artists who have had a personal impact on my life, including James Denmark, who creates beautiful expressionist collages. Viewing and appreciating art is one of the ways I take care of my mental and emotional well-being. Seeking out Black artists helps me feel more connected to our history.”
How do you feel the wellness world can work to amplify Black voices and contribute to their health and wellness?
“We can contribute to the health and wellness of the Black community by having discussions and conversations about health on a visible platform that includes Black health experts and contributors.”
How can the IIN community work to make the wellness world more inclusive?
“I believe the IIN community can make the wellness world more inclusive by highlighting Black health experts during various seminars, webinars, and workshops. For example, IIN can host a Black wellness week, where we hold forums, discussion groups, and expert panels to discuss the health disparities in Black communities compared to their white counterparts.
“IIN already offers courses that are beneficial to all communities, so it’s now important to make them accessible to those communities that could benefit from them most.”