New virtual and in-person educational experiences at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) will help spark student interest in joining the field of optometry.
PINELLAS PARK, Fla., – Transitions, along with its Diversity Advisory Board, has
partnered with Black EyeCare Perspective for a HBCU Light Intelligent Tour, which is continuing
To assist in increasing the admittance of Black and African American students into accredited optometry programs and ultimately increasing the amount of practicing diverse optometrists, the HBCU Light Intelligent Tour visited three Historically Black Colleges and Universities in November 2022.
2022 tour stops included North Carolina Central University (NCCU), Tennessee State University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Fostering continuous engagement and educational support, students will receive ongoing communications via an e-newsletter and are invited to attend the tour’s new virtual events. A video recapping the 2022 HBCU Light Intelligent Tour at NCCU will also be released on Transitions’ LinkedIn and Facebook account pages.
Currently, 13.6 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 46 million people, identify themselves
as Black or African American 1 —yet this demographic represents less than two percent of
practicing optometrists 2 and only four percent of students enrolled in optometry school 3.
“This tour is just one of the initiatives the Transitions Diversity Advisory Board has undertaken to recruit multicultural talent into the eyecare profession,” said Arlene Segovia, senior marketing manager, trade communications, Transitions. “Increasing diversity in the eyecare industry will ensure future optometrists can effectively advocate for multicultural patient needs and create a sustainable pipeline of multicultural talent.”
This initiative was led by Dr. Darryl Glover, co-founder of Black EyeCare Perspective, and Dr.
Essence Johnson, executive director of Black EyeCare Perspective. Leadership team members
Dr. Tiffany Humes, business transformation manager, and Dr. Jacobi Cleaver, chief program
officer, were also part of the HBCU Light Intelligent Tour. While on campus, Black EyeCare
Perspective and Transitions team members presented to students on the profession of
optometry, how to join the Black EyeCare Perspective Pre-Optometry Club and the benefits of
Transitions ® lenses. Additionally, they discussed the benefits of receiving annual comprehensive eye exams to eye and overall health. Students were also invited to meet with Black EyeCare Perspective and Transitions team members one-on-one, giving them the opportunity to connect with practicing Black optometrists.
“As 40 percent of optometrists who identify as Black or African American graduate from
historically black colleges and universities 4, the HBCU Light Intelligent Tour aims to encourage
students in joining the field of optometry,” said Dr. Glover. “We also hope that our representationon campus inspires students to imagine themselves in our field as they see first-hand successful Black optometrists who are striving to change the world.”
In addition to student outreach, Transitions and Black EyeCare Perspective hope to create
lasting partnerships with university presidents, faculty and pre-health advisors to provide
HBCUs with continued support to foster student interest in optometry including providing them
with preparation resources for the Optometry Admission Test.
“As I listened to Dr. Glover and Dr. Johnson present, I looked around the room and saw my
students’ eyes light up,” said Dr. Roderick Heath, former director, Men’s Achievement Center and African American Male Initiative, NCCU. “I think many of my students may have found a
new career path and that makes me smile inside.”
Transitions provides its industry partners with the tools and education they need to better serve
and improve communication with their culturally diverse patients.Resources are available free-
of-charge to eyecare professionals at TransitionsPRO.com/Multicultural.Those interested in being involved with the Transitions Diversity Advisory Board can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the Transitions ® Brand
Transitions ® eyeglass lenses and shields set new standards of advanced performance to
provide ever increasing visual comfort, and always blocking 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Product leadership, consumer focus, and operational excellence have made the Transitions ®
brand one of the most recognized consumer brands in optics. For more information about
Transitions ® Light Intelligent Lenses ™ , visit Transitions.com or TransitionsPRO.com.
About Black Eyecare Perspective
Black EyeCare Perspective, founded by optometrists Dr. Adam Ramsey and Dr. Darryl Glover,
was designed and created to cultivate and foster lifelong relationships between Black eyecare
professionals and the eyecare industry. Along with Dr. Essence Johnson (Chief Visionary
Officer) and Dr. Jacobi Cleaver (Chief Program Officer), Black EyeCare Perspective is
redefining the color of the eyecare industry 1% at a time by creating a pipeline for Black
students into optometry. Black EyeCare Perspective believes you must be targeted in your
recruitment and intentional in your impact to increase the representation of African Americans in all areas of the eyecare industry. Their industry partnerships and programming support their
13% Promise, a call for equity in eyecare through awareness, actionable change and