Eighteen members of the black eyecare community came together to pose for the 'Open Your Eyes' campaign.
NEW YORK—Select representatives from the optical industry have come together to launch an independent ad campaign titled “Open Your Eyes,” which is designed to raise awareness of the need for the amplification of black voices in the optical industry. The ad campaign, which will be shared on various social media platforms today, consists of 18 professionals from different segments of the industry which include seven optometrists, five opticians, four frame designers and two company reps.

Each person is pictured wearing a blindfold with a phrase on it that either describes a positive trait of black professionals that should be recognized, or a noun describing what the eyecare industry needs to move forward with a more diverse and equitable agenda.

Anissa Laval Kiyemba,
Cutting Edge Opticians
Berkeley,  Calif.
“We are the industry that is responsible for giving this world sight, so we cannot be blind to the injustices and inequalities that face the black community,” said Tarrence Lackran, the creative director of this independent project; Lackran is also director of partnerships and programming at The Vision Council. He told VMAIL, “The blindfolds on each person’s eyes is a personal message to our industry on how we can be leaders in diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are ready to have these conversations.”

Selected participants will all post the ad on their social media accounts throughout the day. Participants include:

• Adam Ramsey OD (@dradamramsey)
• Alicia Hartman (@eyeqbarbados)
• Anissa Laval Kiyemba (@see_thecuttingedge)
• Autianna Wilson (@goddessofoptix)
• Coco and Breezy Dotson (@cocoandbreezy)
• Darryl Glover OD (@drdarrylglover)
• Danielle Richardson OD (@fierceclarity)
• Devin Sasser OD (@thefitoptometrist)
• Kelechi Akpunku OD (@dr.eyetravel)
• Margie Toney (@styleeyesoptical)
• Nishan Pressley OD (@askdrnish)
• Phernell Walker ABOM (@phernell)
• Shonda Greene MBA (@eyesluvshonda)
• Tarrence Lackran (@theopticalpoet)
• Tiffany Williams and Warren Macintosh (@eyecandycreationsllc)
• Utenzi Miller (@utenzimiller)

“I chose to participate in this independent project because of how important it is to share the message of racial equity across mediums, said Danielle Richardson OD. "Photos, videos, articles, conversations, podcasts are all important tools for spotlighting racial injustice and calling for change. This was moment for our industry to make a powerful and beautiful statement as part of our broader activism goals."

Questions about the Open Your Eyes campaign can be directed to Tarrence Lackran at tlackran@thevisioncouncil.org