ASCO Launches Voices of Diversity Project

December 27, 2022

 The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) launches its Voices of Diversity project, an important addition to the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging Eye on Diversity initiative, generously sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision.

The Voices of Diversity videos feature first-person accounts from Doctors of Optometry, optometric educators, and optometry students who bravely share their stories about the impact race and prejudice has had on them both personally and professionally. Filmed during the July 2022 Annual Conference of the National Optometric Association, the videos describe instances of microaggressions, sexism, misogyny, bigotry, and prejudice. They also include examples of supportive mentorship, collaboration, helpful guidance, and allyship.

“The Voices of Diversity project is an important component to ASCO’s Eye on Diversity initiative,” says Dr. Charissa Lee, Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Head of North America Professional Affairs. “We are pleased to be a part of this and to offer these testimonials to the broader community. My hope is that these videos will help all of us become more empathetic healthcare providers as well as more compassionate people in our everyday lives.”

“This important project could not have been possible without the incredible support of Johnson & Johnson Vision. These personal accounts of what some of our colleagues have experienced are painful to accept but we must validate these experiences and resolve to do better going forward,” says ASCO President, Dr. Melissa Trego. “I sincerely hope everyone in the optometric profession, as well as other health care providers, take the time to view everyone’s story. They are real, valid and important.”

The Video of Diversity project, in its entirety is about 1 hour and 30 minutes and can be seen on ASCO’s YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/gtNRuMvAZ-E

Individual montages of compiled video testimonials can be seen on ASCO’s Learning Management System at https://www.pathlms.com/asco/courses/49784# and are split into categories:

  • First Some History Makers
  • Why is DEI Important?
  • What Does Inclusion Look Like?
  • Everyone Has A Story
  • Words to Live By