Alumna heads up project honoring first Black veterinary graduates

Stéphie-Anne Dulièpre, D.V.M. ’20. Photo provided.

Stéphie-Anne Dulièpre, D.V.M. ’20, community outreach chair at the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association (MCVMA), spearheaded a joint project between the MCVMA and BlackDVM Network this year for Black History Month. The video project titled, ‘The First But Not the Last: Honoring Black Veterinarians,’ recognizes the first Black women and

men veterinary graduates from veterinary schools across the country. The video highlights Cornell’s first Black male graduate Kirksey Curd, D.V.M. 1912, as well as its first two Black female graduates, Lila Miller, D.V.M. ’77, and Rochelle Woods, D.V.M. ’77. The full video premiered on February 24 to viewers across the United States and beyond, Cornellians making up a large majority of the attendees.

"Too often we find that Black and Brown individuals are recognized and celebrated posthumously and not during their lives,” says Dulièpre. “This was a critical factor in the development of this project. … Having the privilege to hear from so many 'firsts' in the process was a humbling experience and reinforced the weight of a project like this. Many of these first Black veterinary graduates are alive and well and thriving, and it is imperative that they receive the recognition they deserve now. Many of the barriers they faced are persistent today, so it is my hope that through this project, aspiring Black veterinary professionals can see themselves represented and understand that they too have a place in this profession."

See the  Cornell-specific video here and below: