It’s Hard to Be
What You Can’t See

Diversifying the veterinary industry and helping solve the long-term pet care shortage starts with all of us

Increasing BIPOC Representation by reducing barriers or reducing inequities.

The veterinary industry is in a crisis, battling a lack of diversity and a looming care shortage by 2030. Despite their passion and dedication, some students still face unfair obstacles due to inequality. Through scholarship, internships and education grants, The Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition helps to remove obstacles that hinder underrepresented students from pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. Ultimately, this will help improve the quality of veterinary care by fostering a more diverse and inclusive veterinary community.  

90%

of veterinarians identify as white

Bureau of Labor Statistics

75 Million

US pets could be without veterinary care by 2030

Banfield Pet Hospital®

>50%

of interested Black students were persuaded by a trusted adult to not pursue a career in veterinary medicine

DVM 360

At Our Core

Becoming a veterinarian can be a tough choice – particularly when discrimination or barriers impede students from achieving their dreams. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) students turn away from a veterinary education for many reasons, including a lack of necessary support or representation in the profession. Here’s how we’re changing that narrative:

A UnITED Founding Coalition

We are a group of veterinary organizations coming together to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in veterinary medicine. We harness the power of our collective impact more than the separate organizational labels.  

Keeping Our Promise

We know our mission is bold. Long-term changes don’t happen overnight but we’re grateful to be well on our way.

Where are We Going Next?

Our mission is nationwide, taking us to veterinary practices, conferences and events from coast-to-coast. We invite you to stay up to date and keep up with our next moves.

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Follow Our Journey

Kemba Marshall, MPH, DVM, DABVP

In her role at the DVMC, Dr. Kemba Marshall brings a decade of private practice experience, a deep understanding of nonprofit operations, and a passion for driving diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in the animal and agricultural industries. As the newly named Executive Consultant, Dr. Marshall will be responsible for championing the DVMC cause and working toward its goals. Her duties include board and committee organization, governance support, and driving awareness through effective communication.
 
In the veterinary community, Dr. Marshall currently serves as the Director of Veterinary Services at Land O’ Lakes Purina Animal Nutrition Center, where she oversees the diagnostic laboratory and coordinates human-animal safety training, biosecurity and Institutional Care and Animal Use Committee activities. Prior to that, she worked at PetSmart corporate, the University of Texas at Southwestern, IDEXX Laboratories, Metroplex Veterinary Centre and Summertree Animal and Bird Clinic. Dr. Marshall received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and her Master of Public Health from the University of Iowa. Published and well-connected within the veterinary community, she specializes in avian and exotic animal medicine.
 

Marie Sato Quicksall, DVM, CVA

Immediate Past President, Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association

Dr. Marie Sato Quicksall comes from a multiracial Japanese and American family. She attended The Ohio State University for both her bachelor’s degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Upon graduating from veterinary school in 2011, she began her professional career as a small animal general practitioner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before relocating to the West Coast. She currently practices on Bainbridge Island, Washington. In 2020, Dr. Quicksall completed additional coursework to become certified in veterinary acupuncture. Her professional interests include surgery, pain management and feline medicine.
 
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have long been a passion for Dr. Quicksall. As a firstyear veterinary student, she founded the Ohio State chapter of VOICE (now known as Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment), later serving as its national president. While living in Pittsburgh, she coached for a group that promotes diversity and inclusion in her other passion: ice hockey. In 2017, she became a founding board member of the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association (MCVMA) and currently serves as its Immediate-Past President. 
 
Dr. Quicksall is excited to continue her DEI work in new areas with the DVMC to improve and modernize the veterinary profession through antiracism and all aspects of DEI.
 

Karen Shenoy, DVM

Chief Veterinary Officer

Having joined Hill’s US in 2008, Dr. Karen Shenoy served in a variety of commercial roles before entering her current role as Chief Veterinary Officer. Dr. Shenoy is well-versed in both veterinary medicine and business, and her resumé includes small animal practice, wildlife rehabilitation medicine, teaching, and professional boards and committees. With a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Shenoy dreams of a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable veterinary profession – for all.

VMX

January 15 – 19, 2022  ●  Orlando, Florida

Food and beverages will be provided, along with giveaways and a prize drawing.

Join us for happy hour on January 17th from 4:30-5:30 ET, in the Expo Hall Activity Area!
Food and beverages will be provided, along with giveaways and a prize drawing.
 
DEIB Sessions With Our Board Members:
 
Saturday, January 15, 9:00 AM EDT
 
Saturday, January 15, 10:05 AM EDT
 
Saturday, January 15, 1:30 PM EDT
 
Monday, January 17, 11:00AM EDT
 
Monday, January 17, 1:45 EDT

April Kelly,
DVM, CVA

Cumberland County Animal Services in Fayeteville, North Carolina

I am excited about all the possibilities of the DVMCa worldwide presence in veterinary medicine that is dedicated to diversity, belonging and inclusionThe DVMC education grant allowed me to meet other professionals at the Western Veterinary Conference who share my passions 

After I earned a biology degree from Xavier University of LouisianaI took the advice of my guidance counselor and made a week-long visit to the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama to preview their program – which was integral to realizing my dream.   

Today, I’m a veterinarian at a municipal shelter based in the Southeast and an ally to BIPOC and minorities in veterinary medicine. I’m passionate about developing connections with other minority veterinary students and recent graduates across the region, opening conversations about their concerns, helping them navigate their way into this amazing profession. 

As a mentor, I host fourth-year students from my alma mater, Tuskegee University, and NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, who are completing their rotations in shelter medicine and surgery. I intentionally extend this opportunity to members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities because it’s critical for them to be seen, heard and guided by a minority veterinarian within a safe space where they’re wholly respected.  Being available for any mentor-protégé discussion is a simple act, but it cements the priceless connections among minorities that’s needed throughout our careers. 

Lastly, I think it’s important to stand as an ally not only for your own community but communities of others. To be an ally for others that share similar struggles and hardships, and I am trying hard, every day, to be that change. 

Henry Yoo,
DVM, MSc., MBA

Veterinarian specializing in preventive medicine, epidemiology and healthcare strategy in Los Angeles, California

The opportunity to interact with and listen to people’s diversity, equity, and inclusion experiences inspires me to be open-minded in sharing, daring and caring. I’m committed to applying what I’ve learned and growing this initiative within the veterinary field. At the Western Veterinary Conference, I enjoyed sharing insights with colleagues and new acquaintances, and I hope we’ll be able to continue making steps towards supporting the Asian community.  

My interest in veterinary care was sparked by Jenny, the Holstein cow who was donated to our community farm in Korea through an international pilot project. As a nine-year-old, I had an ambidextrous milking skill that set me apart from everyone who worked with her. 

My family encouraged me to study animals and I became fascinated by their behaviors and healthcare needs. It’s been more than 25 years since I pursued veterinary medicine, first studying at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and then in cities across Asia. My international experiences gave me first-hand exposure to how individuals manage the expectations and stressors within our profession.  

 It’s common in the Asian culture to be non-confrontational in our personal and professional lives. That cultural imprint may prevent us from looking for the much-needed support from teachers, mentors and colleagues, and result in under-representation in the veterinary field.  

Promoting caring and communication among my colleagues is important to me. I’m proud to have set up programs to raise awareness among my fellow staff in academia who are teaching human medicine to Asian students. I’m now working on replicating this outreach for Asians studying veterinary healthcare. 

Timbrala Marshall

Director, Veterinary Equity Inclusion & Diversity Programs

DVM

Dr. Timbrala Marshall has worked as a Veterinarian in the Atlanta area for over 11years. She is currently the Director of Equity Inclusion and Diversity for VCA Animal Hospitals.

In this role, she focuses on creating and nurturing relationships with Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institution (HSIs), among other academic institutions. She also helps to build and lead programs to reach and support underserved communities.

Dr. Marshall attended Tuskegee University for her undergraduate studies and became a UNCF Corporate Scholar her Junior and Senior years of college.

Following graduation, she went to Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and earned her DVM degree. While in Veterinary school, she helped to charter the MSU CVM chapter of VOICE (Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment).

While serving as a Medical Director in practice, Dr. Marshall actively engaged with students through mentorship opportunities and offered shadowing experiences for middle and high school students. Dr. Marshall assisted many students through Veterinary school and is proud to welcome those students back into our profession as colleagues.

Dr. Marshall is honored to be a part of the Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition. She was born and raised in Selma, AL where she developed a passion for animal welfare as well as a keen awareness of barriers that often existed for underrepresented groups. She has dedicated her career to merging her two passions and finding ways to create equity and inclusivity within the veterinary profession. The DVMC represents this and is a cause the Dr. Marshall is very proud to be in alignment with.

Timbrala Marshall

Director, Veterinary Equity Inclusion & Diversity Programs

DVM

Dr. Timbrala Marshall has worked as a Veterinarian in the Atlanta area for over 11years. She is currently the Director of Equity Inclusion and Diversity for VCA Animal Hospitals.

In this role, she focuses on creating and nurturing relationships with Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institution (HSIs), among other academic institutions. She also helps to build and lead programs to reach and support underserved communities.

Dr. Marshall attended Tuskegee University for her undergraduate studies and became a UNCF Corporate Scholar her Junior and Senior years of college.

Following graduation, she went to Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and earned her DVM degree. While in Veterinary school, she helped to charter the MSU CVM chapter of VOICE (Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment).

While serving as a Medical Director in practice, Dr. Marshall actively engaged with students through mentorship opportunities and offered shadowing experiences for middle and high school students. Dr. Marshall assisted many students through Veterinary school and is proud to welcome those students back into our profession as colleagues.

Dr. Marshall is honored to be a part of the Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition. She was born and raised in Selma, AL where she developed a passion for animal welfare as well as a keen awareness of barriers that often existed for underrepresented groups. She has dedicated her career to merging her two passions and finding ways to create equity and inclusivity within the veterinary profession. The DVMC represents this and is a cause the Dr. Marshall is very proud to be in alignment with.

Marissa Rothenbaum

Senior Manager, Provider Skills Training

DVM

Dr. Marissa Rothenbaum graduated from the University of California, Davis – School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. She joined Banfield as an associate veterinarian the same year. After becoming a hospital leader she transitioned to Banfield’s headquarters as a member of the Veterinary Affairs team. Dr. Rothenbaum has always been dedicated to developing those around her, specifically clinical and communication skills, and enjoys supporting this for all Banfield hosptials. Dr. Rothenbaum is ultimately driven by her deep respect for the human-animal bond and the recognition of the role veterinary providers play in supporting that connection. Working with the DVMC closely connects to her “why” as diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging directly impact the relationship between a pet owner and their veterinary team and the quality of care a pet receives. In addition to her role with the DVMC, Dr. Rothenbaum is an officer for the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association and is co-lead of Banfield’s Asian and Pacific Islander diversity resource group.

Robert Towns

Senior Global Product Manager Supply - Animal Health

Robert received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University. Since graduation, he has worked for several fast-moving consumer goods companies within the food industry where he led the development and commercialization of new products and processes to improve sales and profitability. Robert has spent the last five years as a Manager of Industrial Development at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health leveraging skills acquired in the food industry to drive growth for top brands within the pet segment. In his new role as Senior Global Product Manager Supply AH, he will perform comprehensive product/project management and governance within AH Global Supply for products/franchises throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Robert has a passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging that dates to the beginning of his career as a co-chair for a diversity council, and now in a similar role for the African Heritage Business Resource Group at BI. The DVMC creates another platform in which he can collaborate on initiatives to improve workplace culture and awareness that will lead to more opportunities for people of color to thrive as their authentic selves.

Jennifer Ogeer

Vice President, Medical Affairs

DVM, MSc, MBA, MA

Dr. Jennifer Ogeer has spent more than 25 years in academic teaching, clinical practice, research and administration in emergency medicine and critical care. She is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College in Canada and completed her MSc, MBA and MA in Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the University of Guelph. In her current role at Antech, she has a diverse role in medical affairs, innovation, commercial marketing and sales. She is deeply passionate about helping people and pets and devotes her free time to several not-for-profit organizations and is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for Veterinarians without Borders. As Vice-Chair of the DVMC, she is excited to be part of a collaborative, highly engaged team that seeks to build and support a community of safety, belonging and mentorship for veterinary professionals.

Laura Pletz

Scientific Services Manager

DVM

Dr. Laura Pletz is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she began work as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice in St. Louis, Missouri, where she became one of the practice owners. In 2012, she left private practice to join Royal Canin and currently serves as the Scientific Services Manager, leading a team of veterinarians providing nutritional education to customers.

Dr. Pletz is passionate about working to address the challenges facing today’s veterinarian and has served on the Board of Directors for The Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI) since 2018 and now serves as President-Elect for the organization. Her passion for a more inclusive profession has also led to work in the larger area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition and is on the Advisory Board for the AVMA/AAVMC Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession.

Tiffany King

Director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Tiffany King is the Director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at Banfield. Her primary focus in this role is to lead the ideation and development of strategies to enhance the culture of inclusion and belonging for over 19,000 associates across the US and Puerto Rico.

Tiffany received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from North Carolina State University and has an extensive career as a Human Resources professional leading organizational design, talent management, and leadership development efforts.

She has worked in both the public and private industries at such organizations as Apple and Starbucks prior to joining Banfield. As Tiffany states, “Through the creation of the DVMC, our hope is to work collaboratively with industry leaders to close the gap that exists for minorities in the profession. Through our efforts, we are committed to creating pathways for veterinary professionals, current and future, so they can pursue their passion for caring for pets. We hope to bring many along this journey with us.”

Christine Jenkins

Chief Medical Officer - U.S, VP

DVM, DACVIM-SAIM

Dr. Christine Jenkins received her B. S. in Animal Science from Florida A & M University, followed by a DVM from Tuskegee University. Dr. Jenkins is a Diplomate, ACVIM-SAIM. For over 20 years, Dr. Jenkins has held various leadership roles within the animal health industry following a tenured associate professor position at UTCVM.

Molly McAllister

Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

DVM, MPH

Dr. Molly McAllister is the Chief Medical Officer at Banfield Pet Hospital. Responsible for the veterinary operations of the business, she develops and enables the strategy, culture and organization to effectively deliver excellence in high-quality medicine and cultivate productive relationships within and beyond the veterinary profession. Dr. McAllister earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a master’s in public health from the University of Minnesota. Upon receiving her veterinary degree, she spent time as a private practitioner in the equine, small animal and wildlife rehabilitation spaces before working in the industry and corporate medicine.

In her career journey, Dr. McAllister is focused on advancing access to quality veterinary care for pets as well as promoting the importance of health and well-being for veterinary professionals, with the certainty that equity, inclusion and diversity are critical for creating a healthy and sustainable professional culture. Further, as an advocate of the human-animal bond, Dr. McAllister aims to ensure that the benefit of connection with a pet and access to needed veterinary services is available for all people and communities who stand to benefit from them. She is proud to serve as the first Board Chair of the Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition and excited to bring talented, passionate and action-oriented people together to create meaningful change in the profession so that it may be representative of the people and communities that rely on veterinary care for their pets.

Courtney Campbell

Veterinarian

DVM, DACVS-SA

Dr. Courtney A. Campbell has enjoyed a career as both a board-certified veterinary surgeon and a veterinary journalist. In the operating room, Dr. Campbell specializes in orthopedic, soft tissue, and minimally invasive surgery. He currently practices at VetSurg, a specialty surgical practice in Ventura, California.  On the media landscape, Dr. Campbell is a host, author, and producer. He is the Chief Creative Officer and host for VetCandy Watch, he is the host of two popular podcasts, Anything Pawsible and The Dr. Courtney Show.  Previously, he was the co-host of Pet Talk, an innovative talk show on Nat Geo Wild which was completely dedicated to pet health. Dr. Campbell is a regular veterinary correspondent and pet health expert on WebMD, The Rachael Ray Show, CBS The Doctors, Home and Family, KTLA and other daytime talk shows. He was recently awarded the Excellence in Journalism and Contributions to the Pet Health Industry at the Global Pet Expo for 2020. Dr. Campbell feels he has really tapped into his passion with a life shared between veterinary surgery, veterinary journalism, and exploring the depth of the human-animal bond. He is thrilled to be a member of the DVMC and he also hopes that his membership with three other organizations – including the AVMA DEI Commission, ACVS DEI Commission, and Pawsibilities VetMed – will help create a more pluralistic and inclusive veterinary profession. He celebrates the rich diversity of those of us who share a common love of animal health.

Nancy Di Dia

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

PCC

Nancy Di Dia brings more than 25 years of change and social experience in overall management, leadership and cultural transformation in the corporate world, spanning financial services and healthcare. Nancy is an (ICF) International credentialed and certified PCC Executive Coach with a focus on finding impactful ways to engage the brain in sustainable insights and change, and an active member of the task force for CoQual- a think tank and research group of leading global companies that leverages the power of equity at work.

At Boehringer Ingelheim, Nancy has responsibility for leading a culture of belonging, inclusion, equity and diversity within animal health, human pharma and biopharma for the U.S. businesses, in addition to her ongoing efforts to improve diversity in clinical trials. With Nancy’s leadership and vision, Boehringer Ingelheim has been the proud recipient of numerous recognition, such as the HRC Corporate Equality Index for the best places to work for LGBTQ+ employees, Disabilities Equality Index, (DEI) NAFE Top 60 Companies for Executive Women and Working Mother’s Top 100 List, among others.

Boehringer Ingelheim and its animal health business aim to accelerate the actions needed to provide more equitable opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities to improve access to quality care, better serving our pets and animals today, tomorrow and for future generations to come.

Rustin Moore

Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine

Professor and Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine

DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS

Dr. Moore has worked in veterinary academia since completing his residency and PhD. He was on the faculty at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine from 1994-2006 where he progressed from assistant professor to professor, served as the director of the Equine Health Studies Program and head of the Equine Section. He was involved with veterinary student, intern, resident and graduate student education, research, clinical practice as an equine surgeon, administrative and leadership service and outreach. He returned to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine from 2006-2014 as Chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Executive Director of the Veterinary Medical Center from 2010-2014, Associate Dean for Clinical and Outreach Programs from 2009-2014 and Associate Executive Dean from 2014-2015 before beginning as Dean in September 2015.

Dr. Moore joined the DVMC because he is passionate about enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in the veterinary profession. He hopes to help embed and intertwine DEIB strategies, best practices and initiatives throughout the veterinary profession to help foster a climate and culture where everyone feels welcome, comfortable, safe, respected, valued, they belong and can thrive.

Randolph legg

President and Head of Commercial Business

Randolph has been with Boehringer Ingelheim for over 25 years, serving in a variety of senior leadership roles in both Human Pharma and Animal Health. He has been successful in leading diverse, cross-functional teams that achieve success through effective collaboration, with a strong focus on performance. He completed his undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech, and graduate studies at Thomas More College, the University of Michigan and INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

His personal and professional commitment to the DVMC is to bring awareness to the opportunities that will grow the number of diverse students who pursue and complete a veterinary medicine degree, including funding scholarships and providing access to mentoring.

Laura Olsen

Senior Vice President, Petcare

After nearly 15 years of business experience in both animal and human health, including positions at three Fortune 500 companies – Zoetis, Novartis and Pfizer. Laura is passionate about creating innovative and forward-thinking initiatives that support veterinarians in the paradigm of care and improving the health and lives of pets and the people who love them. Laura is proud and honored to be part of the DVMC and looks forward to advancing opportunities for the BIPOC Community and other underrepresented groups in the veterinary community.

Jennifer Ogeer,
BSc., DVM, MSc., MBA, MA

VP Medical Affairs & Commercial Marketing, Antech

As a young girl growing up in the Caribbean, I had always dreamt of becoming a veterinarian. As early as I can remember, I would try to save every sick or injured stray dog and cat I found living on the streets. My mother and elder sister are both life-long caregivers and nurturers, having spent more than 30 years themselves in the medical profession as registered nurses and midwives.

My dedication, hard work and determination were recognized when I received a scholarship more than 25 years ago to study veterinary medicine. I attended the Ontario Veterinary College in Canada and was extremely happy that I could pursue my passion to help animals and serve my communities. There were very few BIPOC students in the veterinary program then – and even less during my internship, residency, and graduate program in critical care. I was blessed to have wonderful, open-minded friends and influential mentors, who always encouraged me to express my individuality and be proud of the contribution I was making to the profession. 

For over a decade in academia as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, and now in my current role as Vice President of Medical Affairs at Antech, I’ve aimed to be a pillar of strength and support to other BIPOC pre-veterinary and veterinary students. It has been both personally and professionally rewarding to represent a positive, resilient role model for students and junior colleagues while helping them overcome obstacles as they also follow their dreams and succeed. 

Through my own journey in veterinary medicine, I understand that people long for that culture of safety and belonging, particularly in the BIPOC community. You must recognize that you’re going in with a higher purpose – and that purpose doesn’t sway based on your race, gender, financial status or ethnic background. My passion for helping animals, inner strength and gracious people along the way have carried me through this journey. I have had many phenomenal mentors that didn’t see me as a woman with a different complexion. Just like me, they cared about helping animals – and people, too. That transcends all boundaries. Looking forward, how do we build a community around us that goes beyond color, gender, race or even economic barriers? That’s the goal of the DVMC – and I’m thrilled to be part of it. 

Courtney Campbell, DVM, DACVS-SA

Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeon Host and Producer of Vet Candy on Watch

I have always enjoyed a challenge. My passion for animal science combined with pre-veterinary curriculum rigor lured me toward a professional career in animal health. However, I noticed that along my career path that role models, mentors or professional symbols that resembled me were noticeably absent. My observation became even more apparent when I realized that I had not met another Black veterinarian until I started vet school at Tuskegee University, a renowned HBCU (Historically Black College and University).

Being the standout amid an environment of high cultural homogeneity can be isolating especially within a profession where bonds, networking and professional connections can be paramount. In the face of this disproportionate reality, I found that I was constantly focused on social maneuvering to avoid feeling “otherized.” From the way that I spoke to the music that I listened to in the veterinary hospital to my hairstyle, my goal was to culturally intermix – or assimilate – with my colleagues. I relied on code-switching so that I didn’t feel like a foreigner in a profession to which I have dedicated my life.  

At times, feeling like an outsider can be shockingly surreal. After a busy day of consultations and surgeries, I scrambled to leave the hospital so that I could attend a local veterinary chapter meeting that I had been looking forward to. I remember arriving at the meeting wearing identical attire to my other colleagues. They often wore plaid shirts and khaki pants. When my colleagues entered the building’s foyer to sign in to the meeting, they were greeted with a collegial, ‘Hello and welcome to the meeting.’ I, on the other hand, was immediately regarded as one of the catering staff. Just before I could completely sign my name and collect a swag bag, the liaison for the company leaned in toward me and said, “Make sure you look to the side when you bring the bread out. I will be sitting to the left and you may not see me.” I paused for a few moments to comprehend fully what she said and what was happening at that moment. I replied amiably, “Hi. I’m Dr. Campbell, nice to meet you.” To her credit, she immediately apologized as I watched her cheeks grow crimson with embarrassment. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the hard-working folks in the catering industry, but that incident and similar scenarios have occurred throughout my professional journey. It reinforces a sentiment that many in the BIPOC community have felt while navigating the veterinary space: ‘you aren’t one of us.’  

Unfortunately, it is commonplace for BIPOC veterinary students and veterinarians to feel a lack of belonging and connection to their profession. It doesn’t have to be this way. The DVMC aims to meet the needs of the BIPOC community and inspire change throughout the industry.  My goal for the DVMC is to feed the appetite and imagination of underrepresented boys and girls who want to be veterinarians. Representation is the universal language of our imagination. We look at people that came before us and say, ‘I can do that.’  

I love being a veterinarian – and I want to inspire more people to be interested in veterinary medicine through activism, mentorship, and financial support.