PEOPLE: Diversity & Inclusion 2nd IMPACT-HBCU Community Awareness Virtual Event, to Help Students and Families Learn About the Optometry Profession, Is Planned for Oct. 12 By Staff Thursday, September 2, 2021 12:21 AM PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. and RALEIGH, N.C.—On Tuesday, October 12, Black Eyecare Perspective will host its second annual “IMPACT HBCU- If you see it, you can be it.” The community awareness and targeted recruitment initiative is an event for families, students and educators at HBCUs (and all schools) to meet Black optometrists, learn about the diversity of the profession and how one can become a Doctor of Optometry. This event will be held virtually and is free to the public.Explained Dr. Adam Ramsey, co-founder of Black Eyecare Perspective, “Through an integrative approach, Black Eye Care Perspective (BEP) aims to increase the number of Black and African American students interested in optometry through awareness, assistance and accessibility. BEP believes that exposure to optometry during one’s formative years is one way to increase interest in the profession."He added, "Another way is targeted recruitment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation. The Black EyeCare Perspective Pre-Optometry Club (BEPPOC) not only provides resources and mentorship prior to admission into an optometry program but also provides continuous support throughout school and their optometric careers.”Since BEPPOC inception, membership has grown to nearly 100 members from 23 states, representing 54 unique universities (15 of which are HBCUs) and connecting students to over $100,000 in resources and grants. BEPPOC is advised and was cofounded by Drs. Essence Johnson and Jacobi Cleaver, who are both residency trained, community health optometrists and graduates of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University. “Industry partners like, America's Best Contact Lenses and Glasses, MyEyeDr. and Warby Parker, make it possible to expand our mission and messaging and provide the resources and support students need to not only survive, but thrive in their pursuit of optometry,” Dr. Ramsey noted. Registration and other details for the IMPACT HBCU event are posted here.