Expanding the school’s DEI initiatives for veterinary students
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine announced in a university release,1 its first ever chief diversity officer, Monae Roberts. Roberts previously served on the main UC Davis campus as Director of the LGBTQIA Resource Center and a program coordinator at the Cross Cultural Center. however, this new transition will have Roberts focused on DEI initiatives for the veterinary medicine school.
“Even if we don’t always share the same points of view, I find the university a more open environment, where folks are willing to learn and grow,” Roberts said in the release.1
Roberts began their involvment with members of the veterinary medicine community after presenting at the 2018 Iverson Bell Symposium — a weekend diversity summit for veterinary professionals. Roberts also looks forward to being involved in K-12 outreach and finding more ways to expose under-represented communities to careers in veterinary medicine by implementing new policies and practices.
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work is my calling and passion,” Roberts said. “It’s important for me to create positive change in the world in some way. With a supportive team alongside me, I feel I can do that here.”
In their experience of working with individuals and groups on DEI issues, Roberts said one of the biggest challenges to overcome is fear.
“People worry…what if I mess up and do the wrong thing? My hope is to support everyone through that. The fact is, we will all mess up. We’re human and won’t get it right 100% of the time. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I still mess up. It’s about how you mess up and how you move forward, being able to sit in that discomfort, owning your mistakes, and figuring out how to be better in the future. That’s what creating change is about. But if we don’t take that risk, then we will stay stagnant. This school didn’t get to no. 1 by staying stagnant. My hope is to be here to hold your hand. We can mess up and move forward together.”1
Wood T. Announcing the school's first chief diversity officer. UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. February 14, 2023. Accessed February 23, 2023. https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/announcing-schools-first-chief-diversity-officer