AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by Maurice Cottman, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. This episode of Have You Herd is sponsored by Merck Animal Health. Visit this link to find out more about the BRD solutions available from Merck Animal Health.
Cottman presented at the 56th AABP Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wis. in the Veterinary Practice Sustainability session, chaired by Dr. Lauren Mack. AABP members can view presentations from all AABP conferences by clicking on the purple cow head logo at the bottom of any AABP webpage or downloading the free “BCI Mobile Conference” app from your device’s store. Cottman discusses his experiences at the conference, including his surprise at the amount of milk AABP members drink!
We discuss culture and cultural competency and how it relates to bovine practice, both in understanding caregivers who work on beef and dairy farms as well as associates and staff in veterinary practices. Cottman discusses initiatives at universities to increase diversity, as well as recognizing barriers that some students have in applying for and attending veterinary school. He offers some advice for having difficult conversations about identity and how to not be adversarial or hostile when a mistake is made so that we can improve understanding between all of us. He also asks each of us to give our fellow humans grace when it comes to these conversations so we can continue to understand and accept our differences. Finally, he shares some of the adversity he has faced in his new position and how he faced those challenges.
Books that discuss these issues:
White Fragility – Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo
White Like Me – Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Say the Right Thing – How to talk about Identity, Diversity and Justice by Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow