Speaker Series Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision

You are invited to join a series of powerful, one-of-a-kind webinars on a host of diversity topics by world-renowned content experts from outside optometry. Called the ASCO Eye on Diversity Speaker Series, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision, this series of six powerful sessions will reveal unique insights and perspectives on diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging issues that face optometry students, residents, faculty, practitioners, and their staff members on a daily basis.

Attend one or all six.

If you are not able to attend because of a schedule conflict, register anyway and you will receive a link to the recording after the session is over.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar.

How do we build a compassionate and inclusive America in an age of distrust? Wajahat Ali teaches us how to create our own superhero origin story, invest in hope, and enact real social change. Ali speaks around the world; his writing appears regularly in the New York TimesThe Atlantic, the Washington Post, etc. He’s a columnist for The Daily Beast; an award-winning playwright, and a Peabody-nominated producer of the documentary series The Secret Life of Muslims.

Dr. Patricia Arredondo is an organizational consultant and Faculty Fellow with Fielding Graduate University. She is also the author of more than 100 publications; her recent book is Latinx Immigrants: Transcending Acculturation and Xenophobia, and she is working on a book on unhealthy work environments for STEM women in higher education.

Dr. Arredondo has extensive experience as a tenured professor and leader in higher education at Arizona State University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and as President of the Chicago campus for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She uses this background in her consultancy, focused on organizational change through diversity strategy, where she has been instrumental in establishing partnerships nationally and internationally in the healthcare, finance, higher education, and nonprofit sectors.

Dr. Arredondo is also the author and co-author of seven books and more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and training videos, includes best-selling texts in diversity management and culturally responsive counseling with Latinas/os. Her newest edited book is Latinx Immigrants: Transcending Acculturation and Xenophobia. Her most recent co-authored book Women and the Challenge of STEM Professions: Thriving in a Chilly Climate was released in 2020.

Dr. Arredondo has been recognized as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, Hispanic Executive by Community Impact, and Business Entrepreneur by the Boston Chamber of Commerce. The American Psychological Association named her a Changemaker: Top 25 Women of Color Psychologists.

Dr. Vincent Pompei is an educational leader and social justice advocate with expertise in using anti-bias and culturally responsive approaches to promote equitable outcomes. His primary area of interest includes leveraging policies and practices to transform academic environments to meet the social, emotional, and mental health needs of each student. His most recent research involves identity safe school approaches and their impact on learning and engagement.

He is the former Director of the Youth Well-Being Project at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, where he was the impetus and force behind the creation of Time to THRIVE, an annual national conference for educators, advocates, and other youth-serving professionals to promote safety, inclusion, and well-being for LGBTQ+ youth.

Dr. Pompei has served as President for the California Association of School Counselors and spent over ten years as a middle school teacher and high school counselor prior to his earning a doctorate and becoming a nationally-recognized expert. He was named one of the Advocate Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 and was honored by Equality California.

Dr. Armstead leads the diversity and inclusion strategy at the American College of Surgeons, and prior to that had similar responsibilities at the American College of Healthcare Executives. Prior to her tenure at ACHE, she was the director of the American Bar Association’s diversity center.

She is often invited to speak about equity issues, especially within healthcare and how it impacts underrepresented groups. She has written extensively and consults on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Dr. Armstead specializes in evidence-based practices and strategic collaborations to achieve organizational objectives. During her tenure at ACHE, she led the team that created the Healthcare Executive Diversity Collaborative consisting of six national groups committed to working together to increase DEIB at the highest levels of health care leadership. She also was key to the creation of the Executive Diversity Career Navigator, an online tool to inspire diverse health care leaders at every career level.

She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in public administration from Roosevelt University, and a doctorate in business administration from Northcentral University.


Wema Hoover has served as the Global Head of DEI for some of the largest corporations, including Google and Sanofi. In this session, she will demonstrate how to harness diversity to unlock an organization’s skills and abilities through inclusive practices leading to increased employee engagement and collaboration, breakthrough thinking, and enhanced innovation. She will also discuss how to overcome unconscious bias, and how to create a culture of belonging, cultural competence, and global leadership.

Dr. David Ikard was recruited to Vanderbilt University to serve as chair of African American and Diaspora Studies. He is the author/co-author of four books: Breaking the Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism; Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-Racial America; Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs; and Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in 21st-Century America (winner of the Best Scholarly Book Award by DISA in 2013).

In his latest book, Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs, Dr. Ikard engages with issues of white blindness and white redemption narratives across literature, film, social media, politics, history, and black human rights movements.

He is called upon to help audiences better understand what can happen when critical societal issues, such as discrimination and systemic racism, are retold and whitewashed. His TED talk about “The Real Story of Rosa Parks” compels people to confront myths about Black history that is watered-down, riddled with inaccuracies and stripped of its context and rich, full-bodied historical figures. Dr. Ikard highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all — and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy.