Virtual EYE2EYE Series Continues on July 22, 'Open Your Eyes! What Allyship of Diversity & Inclusion Looks Like,' With Various Optical Industry Leaders

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council and Vision Expo will host "Open Your Eyes! What Allyship of Diversity & Inclusion Looks Like" as part of the Virtual EYE2EYE Series, a weekly series of virtual panels and interactive conversations inspired by Vision Expo’s EYE2EYE educational series. This Coffee Talk session will be hosted on Wednesday, July 22 at 12:15 p.m. EDT. The session will be moderated by Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, president of New England College of Optometry. The session will focus on exploring the current state of diversity and inclusion in the eyecare industry with four vision community leaders who will share their personal commitments to allyship of BIPOC in the vision industry and their thoughts on what is needed to build a more equitable agenda in eyecare. Participants include: Julia Gogosha, Owner of Gogosha Optique; Sue Downes, CEO and co-founder of MyEyeDr.; Dr. Myles Zakheim, OD, CEO of Optometrix, and co-owner of Zak and Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO at Warby Parker.

“People of all backgrounds should be willing to have and lead discussions on diversity and inclusion. In a time when racial tensions are high in this country, the voices of those who are allies of BIPOC are more influential than ever before. I am looking forward to this important discussion during next week’s Coffee Talk and hearing the perspectives of groups that are not usually highlighted when talks on these topics occur,” said Tarrence Lackran, director of Partnerships and Programming at The Vision Council.
 
“Building relationships based on trust, consistency and accountability and taking on the struggle as if it is your own, that is true allyship,” said Dr. Purcell, adding, “The time is now for all of us to be there for each other.”

All interested participants, including participants who have previously registered for past Virtual EYE2EYE Series events, must register for the July 22 session at the following link: http://vew2020.com/CoffeeTalk.

Launched in April as a way to keep the vision community informed and connected, the Virtual EYE2EYE Series’ "Coffee Talk" conversations are moderated by industry experts and take place on a weekly basis to address current challenges in the vision community.

The July 22 Coffee Talk continues the conversation from the June 17 Coffee Talk, "Open Your Eyes! Taking Steps to be an Ally of Diversity & Inclusion," which was moderated by Danielle Richardson, OD, and explored the intersection of diversity, inclusion and allyship with several vision community leaders, including Sherianne James, chief marketing officer for Essilor of America; Coco and Breezy Dotson, founders at Coco and Breezy Eyewear; NECO's Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO ; and Sherrol Reynolds, OD, president of the National Optometric Association. Viewers can catch up on that recorded session here.