Our shared path to greater

diversity, equity, and inclusion

A diverse veterinary medical team standing as a group outside of an animal hospital

Journey for Teams

Educational Modules

15-minute interactive experiences allow teams to explore, discuss and better understand DEI topics.

Take your journey one topic at a time

Journey for Teams engages teams and individuals with focused information and inspire curiosity, reflection, and respectful dialogue. Each 15-minute module is a step in a journey that can change the way you and your team interact with your clients, patients, community and each other, for the better!

Each module consists of a video to watch with your team, a discussion guide to capture ideas and action items, and a resource of tips to help navigators facilitate the meeting.

Journey for Teams

Educational Modules

The Power of Diversity

Latonia Craig, Ed.D. (she/her)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are core values that help shape, define and enrich a successful organization. Diversity asks the question, “who is in the room?” Equity responds with “who is trying to get in the room and can’t?” Inclusion asks, “is this environment safe for everyone who wants to be in the room to feel like they belong?” Diversity makes us stronger. Equity makes us better, and inclusion builds community.

This module takes a bird’s eye view of the Power of DEI.

Unconscious Bias

Naomi Nishi, Ph.D. (she/her/ella)

You have unconscious or implicit biases. We all do! We develop biases regularly to simplify our lives and daily tasks. Unconscious bias refers to the categorizations and associations our brains make to make decisions more efficiently. This otherwise helpful mechanism can become problematic when our unconscious biases affect how we make decisions about and interact with other people and their animals. One important thing to consider is how unconscious bias works in conjunction with stereotypes, such that people with historically and contemporarily marginalized identities are harmed disproportionately by unconscious bias.

Psychological Safety

Jen Brandt, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)

Psychological safety is a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking, such as speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or making mistakes. Psychologically safe workplaces are important because they contribute to greater team member wellbeing, better team performance, and in healthcare settings, improved patient outcomes.


Richard Barajas MIPA, MPH (él, he, him)

Microaggressions are everyday, verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults that target marginalized groups. Microaggressions are both intentional and unintentional. Many, if not most, of the microaggressions an individual experiences are done unintentionally. No harm is meant by the person doing the microaggression, and yet, because of that individual’s lack of awareness, they are creating harm.


Mia Cary, DVM (she, hers)

A brave space is an inclusive environment in which all team members feel they belong and actively participate. Establishing a brave space allows team members to express themselves and challenge one another in positive ways. This is important for a variety of reasons, including relevance. To be relevant to current and future team members, clients, and customers, we must create inclusive, brave spaces where all team members are invited to be active participants.

Topic 6

The Art of Retention

Kemba Marshall, MPH DVM DABVP (Avian) SHRM-CP (she, hers)

Retention can indirectly measure employee satisfaction. If employers are unsuccessful at keeping the employees they have today, it is highly likely that those same issues will eventually cause newly hired employees to leave as well. The approach an organization should take to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace is contingent upon its organizational culture. The culture of an organization comprises the shared beliefs and values instilled by its leaders and reinforced through daily practices, ultimately shaping the perceptions and experiences of its employees. Implementing workplace practices that prioritize diversity and inclusion helps create an environment that builds trust and enhances employee commitment.


Tangela Williams-Hill, DVM (she, her)

Diversity recruiting intentionally seeks and recruits individuals from a broad spectrum of social identities. It is still merit-based recruitment and aims to find the best possible candidate, but it’s structured to give all applicants, regardless of background, an equal opportunity.



Susie Crockett, B.S., CVPM (she/her)

Our goal is to create a client visit experience that acknowledges and respects the needs of our diverse clientele. We should examine our communication processes from a DEI perspective at the four critical junctions of a visit — appointment scheduling, intake, clinical exam, and discharge — and make accommodations that improve patient care and the overall client experience.

Religious Diversity

Yvette Johnson-Walker, DVM, MS, PhD (she, her)

Religious diversity is the fact that there are significant differences in religious belief and practice. Religion plays an important role in many people’s lives. It can inform our worldview, be intertwined with culture and identity, and can influence the choices we make. Different religious traditions approach animal-human relationships in very different ways. Recognizing these differences and taking them into account when developing a plan of care will foster improved client relationships, enhance owner compliance, and improve treatment outcomes for animals.

Topic 10


Niccole Bruno, DVM (she, her, hers)

Pathway development is the intentionality of identifying, exposing, and supporting underrepresented students (especially pursuant to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status) to consider a profession in veterinary medicine. These programs target age ranges from kindergarten through fifth grade, middle school (12-15 years of age), high school, and undergraduate students and can range from an individual event to a continuous program. It is crucial for veterinarians to recognize and understand the diversity in cultural norms and differences of the communities they serve. However, it is equally important for them to take proactive steps to actively recruit and foster a more diverse workforce.

Have a question?

Please send us an email at JourneyForTeams@AVMA.org. We will do our best to respond promptly. Hang tight — a more user-friendly way to communicate with us is on its way!