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VSP Vision and Black EyeCare Perspective Celebrate 1st Year of Partnership

Aim is to increase awareness of optometry among black students.




(PRESS RELEASE) RANCHO CORDOVA, CA – VSP Vision and Black EyeCare Perspective, a not-for-profit dedicated to redefining the color of the eye care industry 1% at a time, have completed the first year of their multi-year partnership. Over the course of 2022, the partnership hosted two-day, outreach events at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL; Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN; and Paul Quinn College in Dallas, TX.

The events were in support of Black EyeCare Perspective’s 13% Promise and Impact HBCU Program, two initiatives designed to increase equity and representation of Black students in the eye care industry to reflect the percentage of Black people in the current U.S. population.

Students learned first-hand from Black optometrists about pathways to optometry school, academic resources and scholarships, and the role optometrists play in the healthcare landscape. In some instances, students shared that their school’s event allowed them to meet a Black optometrist for the first time.

Black EyeCare Perspective Chief Visionary Officer Essence Johnson, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO said, “Our message with the IMPACT HBCU program is ‘If you see it, you can be it.’ That’s why we have boots on the ground at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which produce more Black professionals than any other higher learning institution.” She continues, “When it comes to optometry, we look to advancing our profession through technology, but a form of advancement is diversity. With more Black optometrists, the Black community can have increased access to care and experience better health outcomes.”

Students were also introduced to careers in vision care as a whole, including opportunities at VSP. And for students who previously didn’t have access to vision care, they received an eye exam at no cost via a VSP Vision Eyes of Hope mobile clinic parked on their campus.

VSP Vision Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Marvin Davenport, “We’re truly grateful for our partnership with Black EyeCare Perspective and the opportunities we’ve had this year to impact so many students and the eye care industry. We look forward to planning additional mobile clinic events at HBCUs, annual scholarships for Black third-year optometry students and mentoring and leadership development programs.


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


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