How Diversity In Dentistry Mentorships Impacts BIPOC Communities

PHOENIX, June 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Laila Hishaw started Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships to mentor underrepresented middle school, high school and college…

PHOENIX, June 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Laila Hishaw started Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships to mentor underrepresented middle school, high school and college students and to help them explore dentistry as a viable career option. However, most recently, she was faced with a racist/hate driven response, after releasing her American Dental Association news op-ed in April 2021, » Why Diversity in Dentistry Matters and How You Can Help.»

A large segment of BIPOC youth in underserved communities often do not have professionals in their lives they can look up to. Things like figuring out what subjects to take, what organizations to be a part of, and how to navigate industries that interest them are all key challenges that are introduced early in their career building process. These reasons are exactly why the organization was started.

However, the unfortunate facts still remain. Systemic racism does exist. Thankfully in this situation, with the support of colleagues and partners at the American Dental Association and the National Dental Association, Dr. Hishaw was supported in her efforts to shed light on the incident, drive solutions, and propel continuous steps towards diversity and inclusion in dentistry. Both organizations released a statement to solidify their commitment to equitable programming.

Did you know that less than 15% of dental students come from underrepresented backgrounds?

– *ADEA,  2019

With a community goal of helping youth by offering connections and conversations with existing leaders in dentistry, Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships is an inclusive organization that is leading the pack in the dental community, encouraging job placement, mentorship, mental wellness, leadership, and education. Since the low 3.8% percentage of black dentists in the U.S. workforce over the last 15 years has gone unchanged, Dr. Hishaw’s focus alongside her board and advisors is to diversify the dental industry pipeline and  inspire more Black, Indian, and LatinX students to continue to do the same.

We hope you are encouraged by Dr. Hishaw’s efforts to build a community that does the work to shift the narrative in dentistry. She is also led to speak, mentor, and workshop in a range of communities where diversity and inclusion in the space needs to be discussed. Visit and learn more about how you too can become a part of the mission.

About DIversity in Dentistry Mentorships

Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships is a use 501(C)(3) NONPROFIT EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION with a mission to educate and empower underrepresented minority students to explore dentistry through mentoring. We aim to reach our youth early to learn how rewarding a career in dentistry is and that it can be an attainable goal. We work to guide them on the right educational track, shadowing experience, and provide resources for them to be attractive candidates for dental school. Increasing the diversity in dentistry will positively impact both the lives of the dentists and the communities they serve, improving the overall delivery of dental care to everyone.

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