Diversity and Inclusion


Dr. Lee VT Photo with batter

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The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and its member institutions have embraced the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism in optometric education and in the profession. Goals include developing an applicant pool, student community, faculty and profession that reflects the diversity of the U.S. population, while  preparing future optometric clinicians for practicing  in a multicultural and global society.

ASCO’S embracing and promotion of diversity is based on the foundation that:

  1. diversity is good for optometric education and the profession
  2. it is the right thing to do
  3. that greater diversity among students, faculty and practitioners is associated with improved access to care for all, more patient choice and increased satisfaction, improved patient-provider communication, and expanded educational experiences for all students, which will better prepare all for the increasingly diverse communities they will serve in the future.

Recent Diversity and Inclusion Activities

Reference List and Resources   

  • Anti-racism Compiled Resource List (compiled from Student National Medical Association, George Washington University chapter. Thank you to Southern College of Optometry’s NOSA chapter and to SCO-Student Government Association.)
  • Be My Neighbor Definitions and Resources
  • Race in Optometry: An Honest Conversation
    Webinar Part 1

    Disclaimer: All rights belong to the State University of New York, College of Optometry

    This SUNY, College of Optometry webinar examined race in optometry, and how race affects optometric training and clinical practice, specifically addressing the Black experience. A panel of Black optometrists answered guiding questions about their experience as students, residents, and doctors of optometry, and how their race has affected their education, training, and careers. Additionally, they addressed the ways we can begin conversations about race in optometry and increase awareness within the optometric community.
  • .
  • Part 2 – Seeking Solutions – Race in Optometry: An Honest Conversation on Optometric Education
  • Webinar Part 2
    Disclaimer: All rights belong to the State University of New York, College of Optometry

  • The second installment in this SUNY, College of Optometry webinar series featured an elite panel of Black optometrists and leaders in academia who focused on seeking solutions within optometric education by discussing diversity, inclusion, and mentorship, which help lead the way to career pathways. Part one of “Race in Optometry” laid the foundation for discussion by providing perspectives and insight into specific needs and identifying areas for improvement to help advance Black representation in optometric education and in the optometric profession.

Part 3 – Race in Optometry – An Honest Conversation on Diversity & Leadership Development in Industry & The Profession
Webinar Part 3
Disclaimer: All rights belong to the State University of New York, College of Optometry.

The third installment of the online forum featured an elite panel of leaders in academia and the eye care 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.


Previous Diversity Activities 
Developing a Diverse Applicant Pool in Optometric Education Mini-Grant Program
Cultural Competence
Cultural Competence Workshop Guidelines