AVMA ‘Brave Space’ Certificate Program will support inclusive workplaces

A dynamic new program designed to strengthen veterinary practices by supporting inclusion and encouraging open workplace dialogue about complex topics such as race and sexual harassment has been launched by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “The Brave Space program was created to provide learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge, engage in self-awareness building processes and ultimately come out as a more intentionally committed ally for promoting safe, inclusive environments for every member of the profession,” said Dr. Douglas Kratt, AVMA president.

The Brave Space Certificate Program is a robust, self-paced interactive curriculum taught by leading experts.  “A workplace that offers a safe, welcoming environment is one in which everyone—from team members, to patients and clients, to the community which a practice serves—is seen and valued,” said Jen Brandt, PhD, the AVMA’s director of wellbeing and diversity initiatives. “By recognizing and understanding the diversity within these groups, our differences can be our greatest strength and an asset to your practice.”

The program consists of three educational categories and seven modules:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Combating unconscious bias and marginalization
  • LGBTQIA identity and understanding
  • LGBTQIA inclusion and support
  • Understanding and addressing racism

Interpersonal Violence

  • Overview
  • Plan, prevent, respond

Workplace Harassment

  • Preventing workplace harassment

Deb Stone, PhD, AVMA’s assistant director for continuing education, said: “When it comes to topics such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race, interpersonal violence and workplace harassment, it’s not uncommon for veterinary professionals to say that they would like to learn more about how to hold effective conversations with those from different backgrounds and identities, and become more engaged in efforts that promote greater inclusion and equity.”

In collaboration with founding educational partner Pride Veterinary Medical Community (PrideVMC), the Brave Space Certificate Program is made possible by an educational grant from Royal Canin.  “PrideVMC is honored to serve as the founding educational partner with the AVMA on the new Brace Space Certificate Program,” said Dr. Dane Whitaker, PrideVMC Board president. “By providing this education and included resources, this initiative aligns with our mission of creating a better world for the LGBTQ+ community. We encourage all allies, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ veterinary community, to complete the program and apply the key learnings in order to help create a more inclusive environment for all.”