University of Western States doctor of chiropractic (DC) students Shenee’ Lawson, Christina (Tina) Violante and Jasmine Tucker were sponsored to represent the UWS Student American Black Chiropractic Association (SABCA) nationally at the 38th Annual American Black Chiropractic Association (ABCA) Conference at Palmer Chiropractic College in Daytona Beach, Fla. The chapter maintained their status as the first and only SABCA chapter in the Pacific Northwest region. The conference promoted networking, interaction and building upon leadership skills to motivate DC students and current chiropractic physicians with ways to stay ahead of the curve.
The ABCA organization was founded by Bobby Westbrooks more than 30 years ago with efforts to recruit, encourage and support people of color to study chiropractic, to advance the science, philosophy and art of chiropractic, and to improve the standards in the profession through technical and professional knowledge. The ABCA seeks to donate time and services to neighborhood health clinics and perform community education.
Read on about how the UWS SABCA representatives’ experiences at this event shaped their future in chiropractic.
Dr. Edwin Cordero, president of Sherman Chiropractic College, spoke about motivation, life and encouragement to SABCA members during the introductory session which set the uplifting tone that permeated the conference.
His message began with this advice, “When adversity comes, keep going! What we do is not easy. If you are persistent you are going to realize what you do is going to make a difference. They are going to know what you stand for versus what you do. If you are not doing the right things for yourself and your profession, it is going to effect the profession.”
Dr. Cordero also emphasized that when you are communicating, be clear with your communication. Doctor and patient communication is vital and essential throughout your encounters.
His first five years in practice he was afraid to charge the going rate or refer patients to other practitioners. He would talk himself down from $50 appointments to $10 because of being poverty conscious. His advice to us was, “Once you are graduated you have already beat the odds, why are you being mediocre?” He finally gained confidence and stopped being mediocre and his patient base increased significantly.
He never thought he would be the president of a chiropractic college. The first time Sherman called him, he hung up because he assumed it was a joke. He then realized they were observing him and thought he was a good fit. That was a super proud moment for him and another life-defining moment.
Dr. Cordero told us, “The power is within you. Get through school the way you need to get through and get into the world and make a difference. You don’t do it alone. Find people that know how to help you get through this process with URGENCY!! Today, not tomorrow. You don’t wait for things to happens, you do things to make it happen.”
- You need to support your organization.
- Support a trade organization.
- Support politics that protect our rights.
- Support schools whose profession you believe in.
After this session the SABCA students felt empowered, recharged and ready to hear about more life-defining moments.
The next presentation was a panel discussion of fifteen successful African American chiropractic physicians that answered questions from SABCA attendees. Their responses and advice shifted the energy from feeling encouraged as minorities who are attending schools and conferences as the minority, to feeling extremely proud for already defeating the odds and standing where we are today. We realized we hold the ability to make a difference in our profession and community while becoming successful! The energy in the room was so vibrant the room literally shook for a few seconds from all the excitement that we all shared together.
The students enjoyed the networking and career-building opportunities that were offered at the conference, but what they enjoyed the most was the outreach program opportunity. Every year SABCA puts on a fundraiser and outreach opportunity for a local non-profit organization located where the National ABCA Conference is held. This year they reached out to CATALYST Global Youth Initiatives. In order to encourage and teach these young individuals about chiropractic, the students not only showed them their skills but also let them palpate mock patients during a mock routine visit.
The CATALYST group also got to explore a dry lab of gross anatomy with a digital cadaver and bones. They were so ecstatic after getting a deeper understanding of what chiropractic is and how chiropractors are able to help people. They left the community outreach with not only wanting to go see a chiropractor but also with the aspirations of being a chiropractor.
UWS SABCA students also competed against their peers at the Chiro Bowl. This was their second time competing and they were recognized as 3rd place Chiro Bowl winners recovering honorable mention and a cash prize. Congratulations Shenee’, Tina and Jasmine on your accomplishments.
The UWS SABCA students enjoyed meeting their SABCA peers in other regions, legendary Black chiropractors that have seen and made history, and looks forward to bringing home their innovative and leadership skills that were built meanwhile at this conference.
This conference meant so much to UWS SABCA by providing an opportunity to explore the chiropractic field with peers and mentors that identify as the minorities. We face different struggles and adversity in so many ways. It is so helpful to be able to, ask for advice from someone who has been in your shoes. The American Black Chiropractic Association gives you the opportunity to build confidence. It places mentors right at your fingertips. We thank all of our donors that made it possible to attend this conference and we look forward to spreading our light within the profession.