Diversity Day was created by veterinary students Lauren Taylor and Jennifer Ramirez in the spring of 2017. Their goal was to have a social event to celebrate culture and diversity within our entire veterinary community, to share with others that diversity is a core democratic value, and highlight respect for all people. The event would also provide an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and inclusion and to bring unity and dialogue. The evening gathering included sharing potluck food representing different ethnic heritage, live music, raffles, games, and a movie.
The event was hosted by the Veterinary Student Coalition for Diversity, Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE) chapter, Veterinary Student Outreach (VSO) club, Career, Leadership and Wellness (CLaW) center, Broad Spectrum, Caduceus club, and partially sponsored by the Office of Student Programs and Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) chapter.
The 2017 event welcomed more than 200 students, faculty and staff and was deemed so successful that it was decided that Diversity Day would become a yearly event organized by the above clubs.
Diversity Day 2018 begins on Wednesday March 28th with lunch time speaker Dr. Kupiri Ackerman-Barger, Ph.D., R.N, assistant professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. She gave a talk on “Exploring the Relationship between Stereotype Threat and an Inclusive Environment.” Classmates shared written statements of what diversity means to them. This year’s activities will continue during the evening of March 29th with the annual potluck, performances, a trivia game, dance lessons, a raffle, refreshments and a photo booth.
Diversity Day 2018 is hosted by the Veterinary Student Coalition for Diversity, VOICE chapter, VSO club, CLaW center, Broad Spectrum and is partially sponsored by the Office of Student Programs, SAVMA chapter and the Student Activities Account at UC Davis. This year's donors include Zoetis, Merck & Co., Inc., and Royal Canin.
“Diversity Day represents a day where I can help celebrate different cultures, customs, food, and the people that make up our veterinary community,” said Michelle Luis, Class of 2019 veterinary student. “It is a space to allow various people, some who have never interacted together, to come and celebrate what makes them unique and find out their similarities. One important thing is to engage people to think about the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion and bring to light some of the challenges facing our community as a whole and empower people to make improvements in their daily interactions.”