Giving - D.E.I.
Choose Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to maintain a strong relationship with the College. As a student, I was actively involved in student leadership and I am honored and proud to continue my involvement today. I now serve as a member of the Board of Trustees, and I am the Vice President Elect of the Alumni Council; needless to say, I enjoy being a part of the ICO family and I would like to see continued success for the College.
While there are many reasons to be proud of our alma mater, what I am most proud of at present is the support for change and growth related to diversity, equity and inclusion. In 2019, ICO established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force with a goal of establishing a comprehensive and sustainable DEI Program involving the entire ICO community. In early Spring 2020, the task force identified and retained a consulting group with experience in education and healthcare to lead the College through this process. With their guidance and collaboration, a campus-wide program consisting of 5 phases has begun.
As Chair of ICO's Board of Trustees' Development Committee, I am working with the College's Development Team on a fundraising campaign that is 100% focused on support for its DEI Program. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to increase the diversity, equity and inclusion of ICO’s student body, staff, faculty and administration - and ultimately, of the optometric profession.
Through this campaign, we aim to raise sufficient funds to increase the amount of money available for scholarships benefiting current and prospective black and underrepresented minority students. Campus and student initiatives including but not limited to training and workshops, recruitment, The Focus on Your Future Program and engagement/ outreach events for student organizations will also benefit.
"We aim. . .to increase the amount of money available for scholarships benefiting current and prospective black and underrepresented minority students."
Dr. Owusu at an ICO event
ICO students at an ICO event
Additionally, I expect that a portion of the funds will be dedicated to cultural competency training at all levels of the College; that is, the students, staff, faculty and administration. Given the beautiful cultural and ethnic diversity of the ICO community and patient populations, this will go a long way toward ensuring an increased level of care for patients and knowledge for all others involved. These initiatives are very exciting and I look forward to seeking and implementing additional opportunities that may yield value.
Demonstrating a commitment to positive change, the Board of Trustees, the Alumni Council, and the College Administration responded by pledging a total of $58,000 in support!
My challenge to you as ICO alumni and friends is to "match" the total amount that has been pledged from ICO leadership. I am confident that together we will meet that goal.
Thank you for your leadership and support of diversity, equity and inclusion. Together we can begin the process of making positive change at our beloved institution.
Nana Owusu, OD '08
Chair, ICO Board of Trustees Development Committee
President Elect, ICO Alumni Council