Recorded Webinar: Closing the Racial Diabetes Gap with African Heritage-Centered Plant-Based Diets

This webinar was presented on Thursday, November 18, 2021, from 2–3:30 pm ET.

African Heritage foodways have a long, unsung history of plant-based eating, and today, African Americans are more likely to identify as vegetarian than the general adult population.

Join a cadre of dietitians whose areas of expertise is understanding and teaching the importance of the African heritage diet. Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RDN, CDCES, CDN, will begin with an overview of diabetes in the African American population. The session will challenge attendees to think critically about the biomarkers of diabetes risk (BMI, WC) and how they're applied across demographics. Constance will empower attendees to take a culturally-responsive, patient-centered approach to diabetes care.

Next, Celine Heskey, DrPH, MS, RD, will outline the evidence base that supports plant-based diets as a way to prevent, manage, and even help reverse type 2 diabetes.

Finally, Adante Hart, MPH, RDN, will explore strategies for overcoming cultural and structural barriers to nutrition for African Americans, including a case study of “A Taste of African Heritage,” a six-week cooking and nutrition curriculum based on healthy plant-based foods from across the African Diaspora.

Moderated by Kelly (Toups) LeBlanc, MLA, RD, LDN, this panel of expert RDs will leave attendees with best practices from the African heritage diet that are easily implemented by their clients and themselves.

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, nutrition professionals will be better able to:

  1. Understand and implement modified diabetes screening techniques that aid African American clients in the detection of insulin resistance.
  2. Identify barriers to achieving better diabetes management and outcomes in people of African descent.
  3. Translate the evidence-based health benefits of adopting a healthy, plant-based diet into actionable messages that honor individuals’ heritage and food preferences.
  4. Integrate culturally-relevant plant-based foods into programming and patient care.

Additional Information

Suggested CDR Performance Indicators: 
1.7.4, 1.7.5, 2.13, 8.2.3
CDR Activity Type: 
CPE Level: 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 CDR
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
CE Club cost:
CE Club cost:

Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RDN, CDCES, CDN, is the author of 4 diabetes books, two of which received Hermes Gold Creative Awards: Living Well with Diabetes 14 Day Devotional and The Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World. She is a nationally-recognized speaker, a former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has over 30 years of experience.



Adante Hart, MPH, RDN, is a nutrition educator, speaker, and foodie who is passionate about improving health in communities of color. He is also an ambassador for A Taste of African Heritage, a 6-week cooking and nutrition curriculum based on healthy plant-based foods from the African Diaspora.





Celine Heskey, DrPH, MS, RD, is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition and the Program Director of the Master of Public Health Nutrition Program. She is an expert in plant-based nutrition and reducing the risk of chronic disease through diet.




Kelly (Toups) LeBlanc, MLA, RD, LDN, joined Oldways in 2014 to promote whole grains and healthy cultural food traditions. A registered dietitian by training, Kelly graduated from the University of Texas with BS in nutrition, where she spent a summer studying the Mediterranean diet in Sicily, and completed her dietetic internship through the University of Texas coordinated program. Kelly also holds a Masters degree in Gastronomy from Boston University, with a concentration in food policy.

All speakers disclose that they have received honoraria from Oldways. They certify that no conflict of interest exists for this program. View our disclosure policy.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 CDR


CE Club cost:
CE Club cost:
Please login or create an account to take this course.