Record Attendance Set at Joint Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium
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Record attendance Set at Joint Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium
The ASCO/NOA/AAO Joint Symposium on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was held Thursday, Oct. 8 from 1-3 p.m. ET during the American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting, Academy 2020 At Home. The Symposium, generously sponsored by VSP Global, had a record 2,757 viewers – the most ever for an Academy headliner session. The Symposium showcased the current state of diversity in optometry – featuring an overview of diversity in the schools and colleges of optometry; an equity and inclusion success story from a non-optometric health field (veterinary medicine); and also offered strategies for working toward a more diverse, culturally sensitive and inclusive profession.
The complimentary Symposium brought together the three sponsoring associations for the first time on this topic. And the associations have plans to continue their collaboration to create additional diversity-equity-inclusion-related programming for Academy 2021 Boston as well as for other optometric education-related events.
VSP Global® was the event’s sole sponsor. Dr. Jarrett Johnson, a VSP Global board member, was on hand to welcome attendees to the event and share news of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity-related projects. Michelle Skinner, VSP Global Chief Network Officer, said “This is an important conversation that aligns with our own organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy, which is focused on accelerating diversity, inclusion and equity efforts to support the diverse communities we serve, including optometry students and Doctors of Optometry.”
Symposium presenters were: Dr. Gary Chu, Vice President, Professional Affairs, The New England College of Optometry, and Chair of the ASCO Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Special Interest Group; Dr. Edna Chun, Chief Learning Officer, HigherEd Talent, and author of numerous books including “Leading a Diversity Culture Shift in Higher Education” (2018); and Dr. Rustin Moore, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Services, The Ohio State University.
The session was moderated by representatives of each of the three sponsoring associations, Dr. Cynthia Heard, Professor of Optometry, Southern College of Optometry and Chair, AAO Diversity Task Force; Dr. Sherrol Reynolds, Associate Professor and Chief, Retina and Primary Care Clinic at Nova Southeastern University and President, National Optometric Association; and Dr. Karla Zadnik, Glenn A. Fry Professor of Optometry and Physiological Optics and Dean at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. The program featured a question and answer wrap-up at the conclusion of the presentations.
To view the Symposium, visit https://vimeo.com/474716062.