By Tamara Downs, DVM: “Today’s climate has a lot of people doing their part to educate themselves and fight against a social pandemic: racism. And it has been encouraging to see. But alongside education and vague statements of support must come something else: real change in the form of antiracist policy and behavior changes to break racist culture. Now, the former can seem daunting but is something we must demand. The latter starts with you. And let’s be honest, the veterinary profession has too long been complacent about combatting racist culture.”
From TIME – “As a child, Tierra Price was mesmerized by Dr. Dolittle, portrayed by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 film—not only because he could talk to dogs and sad circus tigers, but because he was a person of color who treated animals. “That resonated deeply with me,” says the 26-year-old, who wore an oversized white coat and carried around a stuffed Dalmatian for her first-grade career day. “I grew up thinking that I was going to be one of the first Black veterinarians because I had never seen any.” Price didn’t see her first real Black veterinarian until she was 19 and participating in a veterinary program for minority undergraduates. By the time Price started veterinary school, she felt like an outcast. In 2018, Price created an online networking group for Black vets just to connect and commiserate with people who looked like her. “I was going into a profession I didn’t really belong in,” she says. Years later, not much has changed. Veterinarians are projected to be among the most in-demand workers in the next decade, reports Melissa Chan. Nearly 65% of white households have pets, 61% of Hispanic households have pets, and almost 37% of Black households have pets, according to the most recent industry data. Yet pet lovers are faced with a predominantly white world once it’s time to see a vet. Of the more than 104,000 veterinarians in the nation, nearly 90% are white, less than 2% are Hispanic and almost none are Black, according to 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.” Full article: https://time.com/5901334/black-veterinarians-diversity/
Speaking up – knowing what to say and how to say it, is sometimes the biggest challenge. Here are some helpful phrases to use, practice using, keep close by etc.