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The recent protests in response to the killing of George Floyd and the many others before him has sparked a larger conversation around systemic and institutionalized racism in our country, and at our school. As our guiding principles state, “We are strongly committed to diversity, respect for cultural differences, and promotion of social justice. These principles serve us daily in our reasoning and actions and aid us in our decision making.” We know that our school must back up these words with action, and with the help of our faculty, staff, students and alums, we are committed to doing so. Visit our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Council page to read more about the school’s actions.

Recent Announcements

We Stand with our Asian American Pacific Islander Colleagues, Students, and Friends

March 21, 2021
As health care professionals and scientists, we have a responsibility to challenge hate, xenophobia, racism and bigotry of every kind. We should embrace immigrants and immigration, the very foundation of our country, understand and celebrate cultural differences, take pride in diversity in all its forms, and embrace equity and inclusivity.
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Dean Flanagan Remembers Dr. C. Clayton Powell

November 9, 2020
On behalf of all the Deans and Presidents of the Schools and Colleges of Optometry, and all the faculty, staff and students they represent, Dean Flanagan offers sincere condolences to all of our friends and partners at the National Optometric Association and to the family and friends of Dr. C. Clayton Powell, an Optometry icon.
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Recent Actions

Director of DEIB Hired

May, 2021
We are happy to announce that Dr. Ruth Shoge joins Berkeley Optometry as Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, and Associate Clinical Professor. Many of you already know Dr. Shoge through her DEI Workshops, and her frequent appearance on national panels. Dr. Shoge received her Doctor of Optometry degree and residency training in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO). She received her Master of Public Health from Temple University with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Science. During that time she developed a special interest in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, which includes addressing health disparity concerns through cultural competency training, recruitment and retention strategies, and curriculum reform.
Meet Dr. Shoge

DEIB Action Plan Drafted

September 21, 2020
An Action Plan has been drafted for strategies to advance diversity and reduce structural racism at Berkeley Optometry and Vision Science.
Read the Draft

Council for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

August 7, 2020
Berkeley Optometry has formed the Council for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). The Council will be Co-Chaired by our Director of DEIB Barinder Dhillon-Flanagan and Faculty Advisor to Student Affairs Dr. Mika Moy, and will represent all constituents of the School. The Council’s Mission Statement is: “To identify and support opportunities to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within Berkeley Optometry.”
Actions Taken

Black Advancement Initiative Kick Off Meeting

June 30, 2020
Four Black alums have reached out to the school to further the discussion around recruitment and retention of Black students and faculty at Berkeley Optometry. We thank our alums for initiating a dialog, sharing their stories, committing to developing a plan of action, and holding the school accountable. This is just the beginning — we hope to have more news on this important initiative in the coming weeks.

New Asst. Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs

June 28, 2020
Ms. Rivers comes to us from the Boston College School of Education, where she was Assistant Dean for Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid. Jessica has great experience with targeted recruiting for graduate/professional programs, and believes it is important to assess and discuss the specific social, economic, and environmental barriers for students of diverse backgrounds. In addition to being a great fit for this important, student-facing role, Jessica values the sense of community that makes Berkeley Optometry special.
Meet Jessica

Frederick Mason Removed from Hall of Fame

June 25, 2020
Dr. Frederick Mason, who taught at the School of Optometry from 1924 to 1953 — and was a charter member of the Hall of Fame — held beliefs and behaved in a manner that is wholly unworthy of the honor bestowed upon him. Specifically, Dr. Mason was a racist and a bully. Therefore, he has been removed from our Hall of Fame.
Read the Message

Berkeley Optometry Students for Black Lives Matter

June 19, 2020
In support of the BLM movement, our students have identified an organization called the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and are planning a gift to support their efforts. EJI works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality.
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Living by our Values and Guiding Principles

June 4, 2020
Within our own community, we must act to ensure that the senseless killing of George Floyd and the many others before him, will be a catalyst to a just and equitable society. As healthcare professionals, we have an extraordinary duty to ensure that the underserved of our country receive care that is so often denied by a system that unjustly excludes them.
Statement from Dean Flanagan