SUNY Optometry's 'Honest Discussion' About Race and Optometry Covered Range of Issues and Opportunities

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NEW YORK—An "Honest Discussion" about race in optometry was the focus of a professional and industry focused discussion, the third in a series of webinars hosted by SUNY College of Optometry last month. The session, featuring a range of professional, industry and academic leaders, is now posted on SUNY Optometry's site here. As VM reported, the discussion was developed to plan a further call to action, covering the issues and obstacles that impact minorities in the field of optometry, particularly within the Black community.

“SUNY College of Optometry is proud to establish a platform for addressing racial bias and social disparities in schools of optometry and throughout the profession,” said Dr. Richard Madonna, professor and chair of SUNY Optometry’s Department of Clinical Education and Director of the Office of Continuing Professional Education. “Our goal with these forums is to engage and work with the entire optometric community in identifying areas for improvement to bring about positive progress and change.”

Organized by the College’s Office of Continuing Professional Education, the third installment of the online forum featured an elite panel of leaders in academia and the eyecare industry who focused on what can be achieved collectively, now and into the future, to advance diversity and leadership in education, the profession, and ophthalmic organizations at large.

“It is clear that we need to be more aggressive and collaborative across the optometric industry to be more effective with our outcomes,” said discussion facilitator, Dr. Edwin Marshall, professor emeritus of Optometry and Public Health and past vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs at Indiana University. “We need more minds to contribute to the conversation.”