The Pride Veterinary Medical Community (PrideVMC) is celebrating diversity in the LGBTQ+ community online, but like many organizations is standing up and voicing its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Pride VMC announced the recipients of two new student awards June 1, the PrideVMC Student Diversity Bonus Award and the PrideVMC Student Intersectionality Award. Both awards are sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Jessica Rutten and Kaitlin Brown are the award winners because of their commitment to diversity and inclusion, the professionalism of their award applications, and the creativity and innovation evident in their application assays. Each award recipient will receive a four thousand dollar scholarship on behalf of Merck Animal Health.
Just six days later, PrideVMC posted the following statement in support of the BLM movement on its website and social media:
The Pride Veterinary Medical Community is committed to acting to end racism. We recognize the systemic oppression of African Americans and we acknowledge that our silence can no longer be tolerated. We know that the time to end white silence is now. PrideVMC is committed to standing with black, brown and all people of color within our profession and the world at large. We commit to educating ourselves and our community, and to doing the deep work needed to end racism, discrimination, and brutality.
The first step is for all white members of our organization to step up and educate ourselves so that we can stand as true allies with our black colleagues. Please utilize the links listed below so that we can move forward with meaningful conversations and actions. This is our responsibility as an inclusive community to learn what we need to do and then manifest this as real change to end racism in our society.
Dane Whitaker, DVM, MPVM, PrideVMC Board President
For more information on additional PrideVMC Pride Month activities, visit the organization’s social feeds on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Our guest interview is with Dr. Ellen Lowery, a PrideVMC board member. Read the interview here.