Our goal is to harness the collective knowledge of our members to address both our own needs and the needs of a modern, multicultural society.

General FAQs

When is the 2022 RISE Conference taking place?

The Conference will be held on Saturday, November 12th through Sunday, November 13th 2022. Session times are shown in Eastern Standard Time. A time zone converter is available here.

Where is the 2022 RISE Conference being held?
To allow all attendees domestic and international an opportunity to fully participate, we are hosting the 2022 RISE Conference virtually. More details regarding the conference will be available soon.
What is a virtual conference?
A virtual conference is essentially a conference that you can attend from the comfort and convenience of your home, office, or wherever else you can think of, through your personal computer or mobile device. Think of it as attending a standard MCVMA webinar but with the ability to engage with speakers, exhibitors, and your fellow attendees. We are bringing two worlds together for a shared unique experience!
Who should attend the RISE Conference?
Attendance at the RISE Conference is open to any individuals within and outside the US who work or are interested in veterinary, animal welfare, or related professions and believe that racial equity and inclusion are necessary to ensure that all communities receive the benefits of veterinary medicine. We encourage veterinary and animal welfare professionals at any stage of their career (including veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and support staff), veterinary and veterinary technology students, undergraduate students, and anyone who plays a supporting role within the veterinary industry (veterinary social workers, industry representatives, animal trainers, etc). We especially encourage individuals who have long been underrepresented in veterinary medicine and animal-related careers – Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) – to attend this conference designed for and by BIPOC!
How can I keep up with the latest news about the 2022 RISE Conference?

Check back to the conference website for the information related to RISE 2022. You can also find conference updates on the MCVMA Instagram page and the MCVMA Facebook page. If you would like to be a part of the conference email list for newest updates, or are interested in getting more involved with the conference, please fill out our interest survey here.

I have a question that is not answered in these FAQs. Whom should I contact?

If you have a question that is not addressed in these FAQs, please submit your question to [email protected] and someone will get back to you in two (2) business days.

Why is MCVMA’s Annual Conference limited to speakers that are BIPOC?

MCVMA’s Annual Conference RISE is a 4 track conference that covers wide-reaching themes within topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion to push the veterinary profession to new heights, and staying true to MCVMA’s mission “to lead veterinary medicine toward racial and ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusivity that our profession needs to serve a multicultural society.”

MCVMA’s main goals for our annual conference are to elevate BIPOC voices which are often unheard in our field, to build community for BIPOC, and to build a space where underrepresented groups in veterinary medicine can bring their full authentic selves and share lived experiences.

BIPOC are under-represented in veterinary medicine in general but have even less representation when it comes to opportunities such as speaking at conferences. Our conference focuses on equity and providing BIPOC speakers an opportunity and platform to speak which many have not been offered elsewhere. Most conferences are not accessible when it comes to speaking and most decisions on who speaks seem to be done through word of mouth and networking. In a field that lacks diversity and contains many layers of implicit bias, this leaves BIPOC in the field at an extreme disadvantage. Our call for abstracts focuses on BIPOC to give these speakers a new opportunity. It also allows our speakers to gain experience, which many other conferences require before considering a speaker, so our conference can be a way to get their foot in the door at other events too. Additionally, to further support this effort, we are providing honorariums on par with conferences of this size as well as having training available for speakers who are new to presenting.

It’s also a way to combat the false perception that there “aren’t any qualified BIPOC to speak”. Other conferences, schools, and events have said their lack of diversity in their speakers is due to a lack of availability of qualified BIPOC speakers. Our conference had 50 BIPOC speakers last year, so this demonstrates that there are plenty of qualified BIPOC speakers if you look for them.

The representation is also great for our attendees and provides an opportunity to build community within veterinary medicine. Last year, we received a lot of positive feedback from attendees, including many students. Many said it was the first time they saw someone that looks like them speak at a conference. Many relayed they are one of a few or the only BIPOC person in their school or workplace, and seeing so many BIPOC speakers in one place, bringing their full authentic selves, and demonstrating their high level of achievement and skills was uplifting. These attendees relayed that hearing speakers share their lived experiences and being able to connect with other attendees that shared their lived experiences made them feel less alone in this field. It also helped attendees connect with each other and our speakers to help build a stronger network.

Non-BIPOC allies are welcome as attendees. Additionally, if allies are interested in turning their allyship into action, we encourage you to volunteer your time with the MCVMA Conference Planning Committee to help make this effort a reality. We had several heavily involved white allies volunteer with us last year, and we are grateful for their help. Please email us at [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering for the conference.

This is what equity looks like.

To quote somatic coach, writer, and facilitator Kelsey Blackwell:

“Valuing and protecting spaces for people of color (PoC) is not just a kind thing that white people can do to help us feel better; supporting these spaces is crucial to the resistance of oppression…Even if white people can’t access an embodied understanding of why PoC spaces are needed, they can still cultivate genuine compassion for our experience of needing them, and they can trust our voices enough to support these spaces. If the presence of spaces for people of color engenders discomfort, insecurity, or anger, I hope those emotions will be seen as an opportunity to look deeper within oneself to ask why.

Genuine allyship requires genuine listening—especially when that listening is hard to be with.”

Her entire article can be found here and we strongly encourage everyone to take the time to read this piece to help to better understand MCVMA’s goals for RISE.

Attendees FAQs

When does registration open for the 2022 RISE Conference?
More details regarding the conference registration will be available soon.
When will I receive the instructions for attending the 2022 RISE Conference?
The MCVMA board is working diligently to prepare for this unique experience and will send you the necessary instructions within a couple of weeks of the conference. Make sure that the email address associated with your registration is accurate and up-to-date so that there is no delay in receiving our communications.
What do I need to attend the virtual conference?
To attend the virtual conference, you must be registered for the 2022 RISE conference. Additionally, you will need a good internet connection and you will need a computer or device, such as a tablet or your mobile phone. Most up-to-date computers and devices are capable of running the virtual conference. Once the Virtual Conference event page is available, you will be able to perform what’s called a “System Checker” that will analyze your internet browser, your internet connection, and your network settings to be sure they are optimized for your conference viewing experience. If there is a challenge, contact Tech Support so that we can get you in shape and ready for the virtual conference before it begins on November 12 th.
How do I access the sessions as an attendee?
The Virtual Conference will be hosted on a virtual conference platform. On the morning of November 12th, you will receive a reminder that will look a lot like the initial virtual conference e-mail message that you will have received a couple of weeks prior to the RISE Conference. This e-mail message will contain a link that will automatically login to your account, and access the conference page.
Do I have access to all of the conference’s educational sessions?
You will have the opportunity to select which sessions you’d like to attend virtually. You can decide which sessions interest you in a given time block and to attend those sessions as desired. You may attend as many or as few sessions as you want.
Will I be able to see the presenters during the sessions?
During each session, you will be able to see all of the speakers, along with their presentations.
Can I share my virtual conference login information with other members of my team?
For every paid conference registration, only one device (computer, laptop, tablet, phone) will be allowed to enter the virtual conference. The credits earned, the questions asked, and the polling conducted within that single login session are all tied to the account of the individual that purchased the conference registration.
What accessibility features will be available for conference attendees?

If you need additional accommodations to fully participate in the RISE 2022 Conference, please send us an e-mail message to [email protected] letting us know what you need. Please contact us with this information by no later than Monday, September 26, 2022, and we will follow up with you in 2 to 3 business days regarding what is available.

Speakers FAQs

How do I submit an abstract for a presentation for 2022 RISE Conference?

Calls for abstract submissions for the 2022 RISE Conference will be released in mid-May. You can submit your abstract via this link.

I’m interested in presenting, but I don’t know what’s needed for me to speak at a virtual conference. Will I receive any guidance as a speaker at the 2022 RISE Conference?

Yes. Even if you’ve never presented before, we value your knowledge and expertise. Our conference planner, Kawania Wooten, will be hosting two virtual Zoom sessions to help  acclimate you to the conference platform and to provide you with some tips for presenting an educational session on a virtual platform.

How do I know if my topic is the right fit for the 2022 RISE conference?

Our goal is to provide cutting edge education, so we encourage you to submit your topic even if you don’t believe it is a good fit. For background information, check out our session tracks from our inaugural RISE conference.

Last year, I couldn’t interact with the session attendees as much as I wanted to. What capabilities will we have to interact with session attendees at the 2022 RISE conference?
The MCVMA board is working to ensure that speakers have the capability to engage with conference attendees prior to the conference, during their session and afterwards. Stay tuned as we announce the new opportunities for networking and engagement at the 2022 RISE Conference.

Sponsors & Exhibitors FAQs

Who do I contact if I’m interested in sponsorship?

We are thrilled you are interested in sponsoring. Sponsorship opportunities are limited, so act today! To become a sponsor at the 2022 RISE Conference and for more information, please head to the exhibitor and sponsorship web page here or reach out to [email protected] to get more information!

Last year, I couldn’t interact with the conference attendees as much as I wanted to. What capabilities will we have to interact with attendees during the conference and in my virtual exhibit booth?
The MCVMA board is working to ensure that the virtual conference platform provides sponsors and exhibitors with the capability to engage with conference attendees and speakers prior to, during and after the conference. Stay tuned as we announce the new (and easy) opportunities for networking and engagement at the 2022 RISE Conference.