The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK acknowledges it has ‘significant work to do’ in a statement supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
FGDP(UK) has spoken out to say it ‘stands in solidarity’ with the Black Lives Matter movement, calling itself an ‘anti-racist organisation’.
This follows the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the end of May, uniting communities across the world to fight back against racism.
However, the organisation says that ‘more needs to be done’ – and commits itself to addressing the issues within the profession.
Positive and lasting change
FGDP(UK) changes include:
- Educating team members on the issues that affect all groups within the BAME community. Ensuring the organisation actively promotes inclusion at every level. As a result, it is going to review equality and diversity training for FGDP(UK) board members and educational programme to ensure ‘positive and lasting change’
- Additionally, invite dental professionals from black, Asian, Chinese and other minority groups to create a task force. This will be chaired by FGDP(UK) vice dean, Onkar Dhanoya
- Finally, collaborate with individuals and organisations across the profession to actively promote equality, diversity and inclusivity.
‘This is an extremely important issue. I am extremely grateful to Onkar, and many other colleagues. They have had a significant role in influencing changes within dentistry,’ said Ian Mills, dean of the faculty.
‘I am proud of the progress which our faculty has made over the years to embrace equality and diversity. However, it is clear that we still have significant work to do.
‘The first step is to acknowledge that inequality exists within many areas of dentistry. For example, large sections of our profession are at a disadvantage in terms of opportunities and progression.
‘This is particularly evident in relation to leadership roles within dentistry. Additionally, there is a distinct lack of diversity within many organisations.
‘The FGDP(UK) and the new College of General Dentistry are amongst a number of dental organisations who are committed to influencing change to ensure that there are equal opportunities for all.’
Experiences from the profession
This comes as three dental professionals speak out about their experience within the profession.
Olumide Ojo, Chinwe Akuonu and Yewande Oduwole all spoke out about racism and inequality within the dental industry.
‘I cannot stress enough how no one should ever have to feel grateful for being partially discriminated, rather than fully humiliated,’ says Chinwe.
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