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VSP Global Partners with Black EyeCare Perspective

The partnership aims to eliminate inequities and increase representation of people of color in the eye care industry.

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VSP Global Partners with Black EyeCare Perspective

(PRESS RELEASE) RANCHO CORDOVA, CA — With a commitment to further increase awareness about the optometric profession to minority communities, VSP Global announced, a multi-year partnership with Black EyeCare Perspective, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to redefining the color of the eye care industry 1% at a time. As a part of the partnership, VSP Global has signed the 13% Promise, an initiative to increase equity and representation of Black students in the eye care industry to better mirror the 13% of Black people in the current U.S. population.

According to data from Black EyeCare Perspective, only 1.8% of practicing optometrists are Black. Only 3.2% of enrolled students and 3.8% of faculty in optometry colleges are Black. These numbers underrepresent the 13% of Black people in the current U.S. population.

“As a company serving more than 80 million members who represent every demographic in the U.S., it’s vital that we support efforts designed to increase opportunity in optometry for underrepresented groups,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global. “Empowering diversity is one of our core values, and our work with Black EyeCare Perspective is just one of the many ways we’re helping to create solutions that support our country’s diverse healthcare needs.”

In addition to signing the 13% Promise, the partnership will also include:

  • Annual scholarships for Black third-year optometry students.
  • Leadership development programs designed by VSP and delivered by Black EyeCare Perspective to enhance personal and professional development opportunities for students.
  • Social media, marketing, and grassroots event outreach efforts to elevate and promote optometry as a career.
  • Mentoring programs to assist students and prospective optometrists in career planning, application support, networking opportunities and access to a variety of educational resources.
  • Active participation in Black EyeCare Perspectives’ Impact HBCU Program, including leveraging the VSP Eyes of Hope mobile clinics to increase awareness of the profession at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) while providing no-cost vision care to the campus and surrounding communities.

“This partnership is critically important in addressing the need for more diversity and inclusion in our schools and colleges of optometry, especially among Black students,” said Dr. Essence Johnson, Black EyeCare Perspective Chief Visionary Officer. “Over the years, there has been little to no growth in the number of Black students in optometry schools. This partnership allows for increased awareness of the profession, mentorship, guidance, and a path forward for these students to realize their dream of becoming an optometrist and giving back to their communities.”

To learn more about VSP’s commitment to diversity, click here.

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