Vision Expo West 2021 Explores Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through Series of Interactive Panels

Vision Expo West

The Vision Council and RX, co-organizers of Vision Expo, shared details on the panels and discussions dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion planned for Vision Expo West 2021, taking place September 22–25 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas.

To register for Vision Expo West, click here.

Two of the EYE2EYE Series panels taking place at The Seen, the main stage destination dedicated to collaborative learning, will spotlight diversity, equity and inclusion – Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund Panel; and Opening Your Eyes: An In-Depth Look at the Industry’s Diversity & Inclusion Survey.

“From an in-depth look at the results of the diversity and inclusion survey The Vision Council released in 2020 to introducing the newest members of the industry, the recipients of the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund, we are setting the tone for the future of our industry and our community. We are committed to cultivating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community and encourage attendees to check out these insightful conversations,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, co-organizer of Vision Expo. “Along with our partners at RX, we are excited to provide a platform for these important discussions during Vision Expo West.”

The Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund Panel will take place from 2:15–2:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 23 at The Seen and will be moderated by Tarrence Lackran, Vice President, Community Relations – Diversity and Inclusion at Luxury Optical Holdings, and a member of The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. The panel will introduce the first-round recipients of the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund to the vision care community. Six of the seven first-round recipients of the scholarship will be in attendance at Vision Expo West and will have the opportunity to partake in the Show’s world-class education.

During the panel, attendees will learn more about Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund, a new program of the Better Vision Institute, the related educational foundation of The Vision Council, designed to support high school students in underrepresented communities throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry through monetary scholarships to opticianry school, paid internships and mentorships. The intent of the program is to launch a far-reaching effort that can expand to other segments of the industry.

Additionally, on Friday, September 24 attendees have the opportunity to learn more about The Vision Council’s in-depth diversity and inclusion survey through another EYE2EYE Series panel. From 1:00p.m.–2:30p.m., a cross-section of industry experts who developed and led The Vision Council’s industry-wide survey regarding diversity, equity and inclusion will participate in Opening Your Eyes: An In-depth Look at the Industry’s Diversity & Inclusion Survey. The panel will review the survey results and implications and share their personal experiences and recommendations.

Moderated by Derrick Artis, OD, who also serves on The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, panelists include: Dr. Howard Purcell, President and CEO at New England College of Optometry; Dr. Millicent Knight, Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group at Essilor; Phernell Walker, Director of Optometric Relations at VSP Ventures; Dr. Diana Canto-Sims, Co-Founder at Buena Vista Optical and Designer at La Vida Eyewear; and Tarrence Lackran, Vice President, Community Relations – Diversity and Inclusion, LOH. All panelists are also members of The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.

For more information on The Vision Council’s 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey report, click here.

Vision Expo West is also offering a continuing education course focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. On Thursday, September 23 from 11:30a.m.–12:30p.m., Hector Santiago, OD, PhD, FAAO, will lead Cultural Competence: The Opportunities of Serving the Needs of Hispanic Patients, which will provide recommendations on how to improve the access of eyecare services to Hispanics.

About Vision Expo

Vision Expo East and West are trade-only conferences and exhibitions for eyecare and eyewear presented by co-owners RX and The Vision Council. Vision Expo is the complete event for ophthalmic professionals, where eyecare meets eyewear, and education, fashion, and innovation mingle. In the Vision Expo Exhibit Hall, eyecare providers can discover trends, interact with new technologies, and access innovative products and services. The Vision Expo education program is driven by the profession, offering content of the highest quality and relevance to enhance overall patient care. For more information, visit and follow Vision Expo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Vision Council

As the vision care leader in enabling better vision for better lives, The Vision Council positions its members for success by promoting growth in the vision care industry through education, advocacy, research, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building, and industry forums. Furthermore, through a partnership with Think About Your Eyes, The Vision Council supports consumer education around eyewear and eyecare.

About RX

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities, and organizations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products, and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

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