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Diversity in Chiropractic: Use Your Voice and Grow Your Power

It's estimated that less than 1% of licensed chiropractors are Black, yet the Black population of the United States is greater than 13%. Clearly, there is work to be done. Equally important, it's an opportunity to strengthen the future of the profession.

How do you apply a lens of diversity and inclusion to the world around you?  

Understanding is the first step. To call a thing diverse — whether it’s a school, a nonprofit, a business or a community — you must include representation of every difference within that group. To incorporate inclusiveness, you must allow everyone’s voice to be heard. Diversity — or lack thereof — touches every aspect of our lives and is important to our ability to survive. Recognizing it when you see it, and when you don’t, is a solid first step.  

What can you do, personally?  

Become an active participant in efforts to increase diversity and inclusion. Don’t assume someone else will do it. Speak up. Call out exclusive behavior. Champion opportunities to expand access. Share knowledge. For example, replacing names on resumes with applicant numbers can avert subconscious bias and can expand your candidate pool exponentially.  

How do we, as a profession, grow diversity and inclusion?  

If we want the chiropractic profession to grow, we must embrace the concepts of diversity and inclusion. When people see themselves represented, they have someone to model after. They realize “this is for me, too.” Right now, many people of color do not see themselves represented in the chiropractic profession or even served by the chiropractic profession. These are two missed opportunities. 

Here are some of the places where it matters that people see “someone who looks like me”: 

  • Teachers at all levels, from preschool through grad school 
  • School administrators 
  • School regents 
  • Practitioners and business owners 
  • Staff 
  • School boards 
  • City councils 
  • City leadership 
  • State leadership 
  • Nonprofit board positions 
  • Association board members 

Your Voice Matters 

There is so much work to be done that it can feel overwhelming and daunting. Sometimes we forget the reach we each have in our circles of influence. We sit on boards, participate in parent groups and classrooms at our children’s schools, put signs in our yards supporting candidates, attend association meetings and fundraising events. Your voice is heard in each of those places. Pick one or two areas that you feel connected to and focus on those to begin. Use your voice and grow your power — and the power of chiropractic — as we move into the future. 

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