01 Sep PVMA’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
From the PVMA Board of Directors
The topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion have been studied, discussed, and debated countless times throughout our country’s history. In recent years, a dizzying number of painful events have resulted in public outcry from all angles, both demanding and resisting change. It is without question that our response to the era that we are living in will define the future of our country. The PVMA Board of Directors recognizes that the veterinary field does not exist in isolation from experiences of injustice or the societal transformations that oftentimes follow. Rather than upholding antiquated policies and practices, this moment calls for our active involvement in helping to educate and empower our community so that we all feel equipped to contribute and share our voices. A different, more just, and more radiant future is possible.
The PVMA Board of Directors worked closely with local social equity strategist and consultant Ruby Joy White to co-create the foundation of our very own action plan. The PVMA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan has been reviewed by leaders and colleagues within the profession as well as the community more broadly. The purpose of PVMA’s EDI Action Plan is multifaceted, but at its heart, it is a means of centering all of our content, activities, and programs through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion in order to promote a thriving and inclusive professional organization. We hope our work and dedication to the matter will solely continue to expand from here and may even inspire other veterinary organizations to do the same. The PVMA Board looks forward to supporting other veterinary organizations that would like to pursue EDI goals.
First goal: Value Statement and Accountability
PVMA recognizes the existence and impact of systemic racism, marginalization, discrimination, and bias in our profession and community. We acknowledge that our profession does not always welcome or serve traditionally-marginalized groups and identities. Bias and discrimination are harmful and limit our profession’s ability to support animal health meaningfully, the human-animal bond, and the One Health initiative*.
*One Health (formerly called One Medicine) is dedicated to improving the lives of all species—human and animal—through the integration of human medicine, veterinary medicine, and environmental science.
PVMA believes that change and growth are possible and must be pursued regardless of our individual upbringing and lived experiences. We believe that a more culturally competent and accessible veterinary community will better serve everyone. In order to provide equitable and inclusive care within our profession and to our community, we must enact meaningful change. PVMA accepts that our organizational and professional responsibility is to prioritize equity, inclusivity, and justice. This will be accomplished by integrating EDI-focused work into our organizational programming, educational resources, discussion and collaboration opportunities, and thoughtful community partnerships selection.
The PVMA strives to create a membership base where our EDI goals are widely held and advanced by members and where veterinary professionals and community members of all identities feel safe. The PVMA will exercise a zero-tolerance policy for any discriminatory behavior or action from any member that conflicts with our membership code of conduct.
PVMA holds itself accountable for critically assessing the outcome of its EDI strategy through a combination of internal board review, membership feedback, and community observation.
Second goal: Naming the Inequities
PVMA recognizes there are multifaceted inequities and deficiencies in representation within all levels of our profession, the community we serve, and all of our animal welfare and industry partners.
Inadequate diversity is present within all levels of our profession, including:
Students and potential students interested in our field;
Veterinary team members;
Our greater community, including those who are unable to access or choose to forgo care;
and Industry partners, Board of Directors, Corporate Executives, and Investors.
Inequities that have been identified:
Transportation/Access to and from veterinary care and resources;
Ability to pursue basic and advanced veterinary care financially;
Ability to receive recommendations and services without prejudice and implicit bias;
Lack of diverse representation; and
Recognition and acceptance of gender identity beyond the binary.
The PVMA aims to make progress holistically as a community leader to alleviate barriers for the folks most affected by the inequities. We will advocate for diverse voices wherever decisions are being made.
Third goal: Intentionality, Listening, and Co-creation
PVMA believes we are all “works in progress,” learning takes time, and listening, not just hearing, is paramount. We feel our profession’s path forward involves acknowledging our own deficiencies, listening to the variety of community voices, and understanding that community members and organizations best understand the specific needs of the groups they serve. PVMA will engage with membership and community partners to identify and prioritize existing inequities around the provision of veterinary care and to co-create solutions that better serve everyone.
PVMA supports improved logistical and financial access to veterinary care regardless of socioeconomic status; strongly advocates for clients receiving recommendations and services without any prejudice or implicit bias; insists that underserved community members’ voices are being heard wherever decisions are being made, and unequivocally endorses Pride Veterinary Medical Community’s Gender Identity Bill of Rights (GIBOR).
Fourth goal: Cultural awareness, Competency, and Responsiveness
PVMA commits to producing content through the lens of EDI to develop and enhance cultural awareness, competency & responsiveness. This will be reflected in our continuing education, set educational programs, and an up-to-date resource library.
PVMA advocates for a culturally responsive community to the ever-changing climate of the veterinary profession. We will continually assess and adapt our actions and programs to support our EDI goals. Regular assessment of the success of program implementation will be conducted, goals will be revised and adapted, and external evaluation with our community advisory board will be sought.
If you would like more information or are interested in becoming involved with our EDI work, please reach out to any of the PVMA Board Directors or Executive Director: email@example.com
For full community agreements, more information about the PVMA’s commitment to EDI work, and resources for learning and action, please visit the PVMA Website: www.portlandvma.org/edi