“Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.” – Thomas Perez
As our nation continues to struggle to find consensus on issues related to diversity and inclusion, we find the School of Veterinary Medicine fully engaged in strengthening our mission through our diversity of talent, ideas, and skills. Our school embraces diversity and inclusion as essential values of the educational environment and the veterinary profession, and we have linked our success to these values.
We understand that diversity incorporates the assortment of personal experiences, principles, and world views that originate from differences of culture and condition. To fully address our mission to serve society and train the next generation of leaders in science and veterinary medicine, we must foster and attract the best and the brightest individuals who represent the world we seek to influence.
For us to demonstrate that we respect diversity implies that we understand that each individual is unique and brings novel perspectives and talent to accomplish our goals. These differences are not defined by one criterion, but include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities or disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. We promote diversity and inclusion to understand each other and embrace the richness that each individual brings to our school.
From our recruitment efforts to our educational programs, we must also train our students in the skills they will need to work in a multicultural society. If we are to serve a diverse community and remain a global leader, we must prepare our trainees for meaningful and responsible engagement within and across diverse communities. We are learning from our students who are actively engaged in diversity and inclusion outreach through multiple initiatives.
From the first day of veterinary school, students are welcomed to the school’s diverse community of learners, and hear about our commitment to supporting an environment that supports diversity and inclusion . We are inspired by their commitment to support the recruitment of underrepresented students into the veterinary medical profession. While some in our society foster isolation and fear of those who do not share their world views, we should not forget that we are a nation of immigrants—a melting pot of knowledge, skills, ideas, culture, and energy. Our strength is our diversity, and our programs that promote inclusion are vital to our mission to lead veterinary medicine and address societal needs.