SUNY College of Optometry Addresses Race in Optometry with Panel Discussion

July 17, 2023

Part VI in an Annual Conversation Exploring Emerging Barriers to Success

New York, NY:  SUNY College of Optometry’s Office of Continuing Professional Education recently held the Annual Race in Optometry webinar, now in its third year. The series launched in 2020 to stimulate a national, ongoing conversation on race and equity within the profession of optometry. Titled “Race in Optometry: Headwinds – Exploring Emerging Barriers to Success,” the virtual session was held Wednesday, June 28, 2023.

Moderated by Dr. Joy Harewood, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Clinical Professor at SUNY College of Optometry, the discussion included 10 panelists.  This year’s lecture offered a variety of perspectives ranging from legal considerations, barriers to success, and increased efforts to maintain and continue to grow diversity. The topic was timely as it occurred just prior to the decision handed down by The Supreme Court of The United States regarding Affirmative Action in college and university admissions processes.

“SUNY College of Optometry is a leader in looking at ways to improve diversity across the field of optometry including leading conversations such as the Race in Optometry series,” observes SUNY Optometry President Dr. David A. Heath, “The College remains committed to DEIB and will work within the new guidelines to continue to advance the principles of diversity, belonging, and inclusion across the optometric workforce. The impact of this critical work extends beyond the walls of our campus and impacts the population health of the diverse patient community we serve.”

The most recent panel discussion can be viewed from the link below:

“Race in Optometry: Headwinds – Exploring Emerging Barriers to Success,”

In case you missed previous Race in Optometry sessions, they are available below:

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 17, 2023


About SUNY Optometry Founded in 1971 and located in New York City, the State University of New York College of Optometry is a leader in education, research, and patient care, offering the Doctor of Optometry degree as well as MS and PhD degrees in vision science. The College conducts a robust program of basic, translational and clinical research and has 65 affiliated clinical training sites as well as an on-site clinic, the University Eye Center. SUNY Optometry is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; its four-year professional degree program and residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association. All classrooms, research facilities and the University Eye Center, which is one of the largest optometric outpatient facilities in the nation, are located on 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan. To learn more about SUNY Optometry, visit

Media Contact: Rob Rosiello;  (212)938-5753