Black Eyecare Perspective Launches '13% Promise' to Encourage Commitment and Action to Increase Black Presence in the Vision Care Field

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RALEIGH, N.C. and PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.—On the occasion of Juneteenth and a growing awareness of the need to recognize Black Lives Matter and encourage action in the vision care profession and industry, the members of Black Eyecare Perspective (BEP) are initiating a 13% Promise today. Co-founders Dr. Adam Ramsey and Dr. Darryl Glover of Black Eyecare Perspective (BEP), explain, "We are here to sound the alarm to inequality found in eyecare. We first need to admit that there is an issue and then we can work on having a targeted approach to fixing it. U.S. Census data shows that 13.4 percent of the U.S. population identifies as African American.

"This is a far cry from the representation we currently have in the eyecare community. Our ask is that all companies, schools, organizations and individuals take a self-evaluation at where they fall on these parameters. BEP wants to work with everyone to create a specified plan to help get everyone’s numbers up to 13 percent. For those that commit to the pledge we will help provide resources and accountability to reach our target goal."

The group, which encourages participation of a range of professionals within the eyecare profession and industry, is launching the new 13% Promise. Dr. Ramsey told VMAIL, "We would like to give the industry and vision care community a market, to ask to work toward at least matching that percentage among optometry students, at colleges, among professors and teachers, among companies of all types, to commit their teams to achieve this goal, to create it as a standard that we should work to create.

"We also hope that they will ask within their companies, where do we stand toward this goal? What can we do to increase decision-making leadership, to cultivate more. Black Eyecare Perspective wants to help companies and decision makers, to consult with them on what they can be doing to advance this change."

The group issued a moving video recently to explain the personal experiences of some of its members, optometrists, ophthalmologists and others. The video, viewable here features the personal stories of Drs. Adam Ransey, Janelle Davidson, Thomas Hunter, Samanta Love, Ansel Johnson, Ob Malope, Whitney Korley, Amy Ruzicka, Danielle Richardson and Nishan Pressly.

Those interested in learning more about becoming a part of Black Eyecare Perspective or in meeting with the group to initiate a process to work toward these goals can email blackeyecareperspective@gmail.com.