Type 1 Diabetes Doesn’t Discriminate

JDRF is dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion across our organization — internally and externally.


Statement from Aaron Kowalski, JDRF Chief Executive Officer:

“JDRF’s mission is and always has been to discover cures and improve the lives and health outcomes of people burdened with type 1 diabetes (T1D) — here, and around the globe.

Or, as I like to say, our goal is ‘people with T1D, doing better.’

We are enthusiastic about JDRF’s numerous contributions to advancements in research, advocacy and community engagement that today, empower people with T1D to ‘do better’ by living longer, healthier lives.

We also know all too well that T1D does not discriminate — it is a disease affecting all races and ethnicities. At the same time, we recognize that within the T1D community, inequities disproportionately affect the health and well-being of diverse populations. 

As the largest nonprofit funder of T1D research, JDRF must strengthen its efforts to improve health outcomes for diverse populations burdened with diabetes. A recent report from the CDC shows a nearly 30% increase in T1D diagnoses in the United States, with youth cases growing most sharply among people of color.

JDRF strongly believes in diversity and inclusion as the cornerstone of our ‘People First’ culture. Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion create a more equitable culture for their communities, produce more innovative ideas and enjoy optimal business outcomes.

We will not rest until there are cures, prevention therapies and treatments that are affordable and available to all members of the T1D community.”

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

JDRF is dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion across our organization — internally and externally.

In early 2020, we launched a Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

Recruitment for this task force, across national and chapter staff, was interrupted by staff furloughs in the wake of COVID-19, but committee leadership continues to drive this work. Among the critical topics the task force will address are ways to ensure:

  • Our organizational staff and volunteer leadership are more diverse
  • Our events and activities are welcoming to all communities
  • Our public education reflects the reality that T1D is a disease affecting all races and ethnicities
  • Our programs better serve those of diverse races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses
  • All dimensions of diversity will have representation and a voice at JDRF
  • We build ongoing programs to increase understanding and inclusion through education, affinity groups and celebrations

Members of our Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

  • Karen Abrahamson – Regional Director, (Region 1 Chapters) 
  • Jennifer Chen – National Office, Development 
  • Tanya Conovaloff – Chapter, Northern Texas & Oklahoma
  • Deon Dillard – Chapter, Southern Texas 
  • Krystal Dunlap – Chapter, Michigan and Northwestern Ohio
  • Kristin Horowitz – National Office, Community Engagement and  Strategic Alliances
  • Danny Kovarik – National Office, Research
  • Sean McParland – Chapter, Pacific Northwest Chapter and Seattle Guild
  • Raquel Rivera – National Office, Data and Technology 
  • Fani Tennati – National Office, Data and Technology 
  • Liz Walsh – National Office, Marketing and Communications
  • Ayana Young – National Office, Marketing and Communications

Questions about JDRF’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force? Contact Nat Fuchs (nfuchs@jdrf.org).

Our Commitment to Diversity in Research Funding

As an institution, JDRF seeks to promote gender equality and increase diversity, in all of its forms, throughout its programs. Studies have demonstrated that often subtle, unconscious, and implicit biases exist in academic science, which have the potential to negatively impact outcomes in review processes. To that end, please be aware of potential implicit biases when reviewing, scoring and discussing candidates and applications throughout the review process so that we can work together to combat their potential negative impact.

A Message to Our Community about Diversity & Inclusion

JDRF is committed to addressing health disparities experienced by members of the T1D community.

Read about JDRF’s commitment to delivering tangible results for Black Americans living with T1D.