Hope and Optimism From The 2022 National Association of Black Veterinarians Conference

Dr. Mia Cary, CEO & Change Agent, Cary Consulting

This past weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the 2nd Annual National Association of Black Veterinarians Conference at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Cheers to Dr. Raphael Malbrue, Dr. Stara Robertson, and all of the amazing people who planned and implemented this year’s event. It was fabulous. Following are nuggets shared by the incredible speakers and panelists.

  • Cultural humility is an individual journey. Dr. Cherice Roth
  • I am a doctor of veterinary veterinary medicine, you are the doctor of Fifi. Dr. Cherice Roth
  • Ask yourself – where are you putting your focus?  On things that have meaning to you, or not? GeGe Howard
  • Mentoring is just a fancy word for helping people. Dr. Mike Lent
  • Dazzle them with your brilliance and hold your head up high. Dr. Ruby Perry
  • We have the capacity to prepare ourselves for the unknown challenges ahead. Dr. Michael Blackwell
  • You never want to be standing where you are not called to stand. Dr. Michael Blackwell
  • You must speak up and speak out. John Lewis, Annie Daniel
  • Racism cannot be conquered in isolation. Annie Daniel

The Power of Affinity Organizations

Moderator: Ashlea Tenorio, AAVMP


AAVMP – Dr. Kaori Sakamoto

BlackDVM Network – Dr. Tierra Price

LVMA – Dr. Yvette Huizar

MCVMA – Dr. Cherese Sullivan

NABV – Dr. Stara Robertson

PrideVMC – Dr. Ewan Wolff

WVLDI – Dr. Tangela Williams-Hill

  • Know your worth.
  • Be authentic.
  • Keep moving forward.
  • Be open and willing to learn.
  • Ask for help, find support.
  • Be your biggest advocate and show up for yourself.
  • Stay strong and hold on tight to each other.
  • Create a united front.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Keep your passion for change alive.
  • Allies – be authentic in your allyship.

Click here for a complete listing of DEI-focused veterinary affinity organizations.

Dean’s Panel

Moderator: Dr. Rustin Moore


Dr. Michael Blackwell

Dr. Carla Gartrell

Dr. Phillip Nelson

Dr. Ruby Perry

  • There is always a culture within a culture.
  • Being in denial is something we humans are good at.
  • This work is so important and our society needs us to be healthy.
  • We must be brave and courageous to make a difference.
  • Every moment is a learning moment and a teachable moment.
  • Be brave enough to say I can make a difference.
  • Be intentional.
  • If you stare at the rearview mirror long enough, you are going to run into something.
  • Do not let someone else define who you are or what you are capable of.
  • Hope and optimism are critical.
  • Be self-aware. Know who you are.
  • Avoid myopia and don’t lose your enthusiasm.
  • Race is a myth.
  • Humanity – that is our common ground.
  • The outcome we are trying to reach is community.
  • Grace and forgiveness are part of the solution.
  • We must correct ignorance.
  • People can change if given an opportunity.
  • Self-doubt is normal.  What you do with it is what matters.
  • Stop your negative self-talk.  Right now.  Stop. It.
  • We are creatures of habit, almost to our detriment.

Tim Wise

  • Racism isn’t an aberration from an otherwise healthy norm, it is the norm.
  • When you’re used to hegemony, pluralism feels like oppression.
  • The most dangerous group is the one that asks, “Can we just change the wording on this….?”
  • Those in the dominant group must challenge ourselves and each other that we have a role to play.
  • Be impatient, but also understand the long term nature of this work.
  • The work of allies is to soften the beaches and make space.
  • No one thing can say what a person will become.
  • Every one of us is called on to be an ally in some category, if you are in the dominant group in some area then you are called to use your voice.

Much to learn. Much to do.

Thankfully many opportunities to collaborate because we are, indeed, better together.

Save the date! I hope to see you at the 2023 NABV Conference June 16-18, 2023.