DEI and Anti-Racism

PVMA Board of Directors- Letters and Statements

A Message from the PVMA Board of Directors

September 2020

“The only constant in life is change.” 2020 has exemplified that in many ways. We have all had to adapt to change in the world around us, but we have also been asked to look for change within ourselves. As it turns out, many of these changes are long overdue.

Let us recognize the privilege that we may have, against the struggles that others have had to overcome. Let us not pretend to all be the same, but rather embrace that our differences make us stronger and more interesting. Let us be wise with our words – not out of fear for retaliation, but out of understanding that our words matter. Most importantly, let us reject discriminatory language and acts against others – be it for race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other individual characteristic.

Maybe it feels like this doesn’t need to be said, but as many of us look out at the world today, it turns out it does. The PVMA was founded as a way to build and support our veterinary community – a community filled with people of many diverse backgrounds. We would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our members of the PVMA Code of Conduct, agreed to by every member upon joining and renewing membership with the PVMA.
· To act honestly, fairly, ethically and with integrity
· To conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner
· To comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations
· To emulate our core values of professionalism, commitment, integrity, service, advocacy, progressive thinking, compassion,
stewardship, transparency and exclusivity.

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July 2020

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably white.

And chances are, the majority of the folks who work at your hospital, or share your office, or sit on your organization’s board of directors, are white too.

In this pandemic era, I’ve enjoyed logging on to our PVMA Zoom-based webinars and seeing a collection of faces that I know represent multiple generations, gender identities, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, particular interests and passions … with a pet or three lurking in the background. Our community is a positive and powerful one for so many reasons, but racial diversity isn’t one of them. Veterinary medicine is one of the whitest professions around. It’s estimated that 93% of veterinarians are white, and Black veterinarians comprise only about 2% of the total.

The factors that led us here – systems of racial oppression and injustice – are deeply ingrained in our society and subsequently our profession. It’s some of these very same factors that led to the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others.

We cannot expect equity in our profession if there is not equity every step of the way up. We cannot expect to dramatically change the racial makeup of our profession so long as Black mothers die more frequently in childbirth, so long as Black children don’t have access to quality preschool, so long as Black teenagers don’t grow up in safe communities.

I have heard from many of you who are now doing the work of rooting out old biases, examining yourself for covert prejudices, and bringing your own internal racism to light. This is by necessity painful work, and the PVMA supports our members in doing it.

The power of this moment is that we don’t need to wait for anyone else to take the lead to effect change. We can do it ourselves. We don’t need to wait for our corporate leadership to issue a statement on diversity and inclusion. We don’t need to wait for our hospital management to draft a protocol on how to address racist comments in the workplace. These things are important, but WE make the change by first changing ourselves, and then reflecting that change outward. This will look differently for different people. But the onus
is on all of us to help make this profession more attainable for our future Black colleagues.

In closing, I’d like to highlight two organizations who are advocating for Black veterinary professionals: BlackDVM Network ( and the National Association for Black Veterinarians ( These organizations offer tangible ways of supporting our Black colleagues, and I encourage PVMA members to listen to the stories veterinarians and vet students share at @blackdvmnetwork on Instagram and on their website.

The PVMA board is aiming to keep our eyes and hearts wide open right now. Black veterinarians matter. Black vet students and technicians and assistants matter. Black clients matter. Black lives matter.


By Dr. Cindy Galbreath, PVMA Board Director

WakeUpVet Med

January 2021

PVMA Board of Directors Endorse the WakeUpVetMed Initiative

Diversity is one of the most critical challenges facing veterinary medicine today. Beyond the indisputable fact that our profession is one of the least racially and ethnically diverse in the nation, it can no longer be ignored that the future relevance of our field hinges upon the growth and development of a workforce that more closely resembles the American population at large.

The veterinary community has discussed and explored the issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion enough. The time for talk is over. The time for decisive, committed action is now.
Stronger. Together.

This initiative was collaboratively developed and supported by:
Association of Asian Veterinary Medical Professionals (AAVMP)
BlackDVM Network
Latinx Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA)
Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association (MCVMA)
National Association for Black Veterinarians (NABV)
Native American Veterinary Association (NAVA)
Pride Veterinary Medical Community (PrideVMC)
Pride Student Veterinary Medical Community (PrideSVMC)
Veterinarians as One for an Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE)
Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI)

Want to help? You can. Right now.

This work will not be easy. But we, as members of the vet med community, are no strangers to very hard work and overwhelming sacrifice. If you are committed to seeing this issue addressed, we welcome you and hope you’ll lend your support by reviewing the recommendations to the AVMA as well as signing the petition below.

Read the letter to the AVMA
Sign the Online Petition
AVMA Actionables
Actionables for Everyone

Resources and Education

Center for Equity and Inclusion

AVMA Diversity and Inclusion

Q Center 

Articles about diversity and inclusion: