ABCA: Empowering doctors and students in chiropractic care
Marcus Goodyear | Apr 07, 2023
In 1981, Dr. Bobby Westbrooks, a practicing Chiropractor in St. Louis, Missouri, had a vision to empower African American doctors and students in the field of chiropractic healthcare.
Dr. Westbrooks was taken aback when he first recognized that many African Americans were unfamiliar with the benefits of chiropractic care. He discovered that chiropractic colleges were struggling to attract minority students into their programs. As a consequence, schools had a markedly low enrollment of African American students.
The result? A substantially small number of African American graduates, and ultimately, communities of color that were underserved by the opportunities and benefits of chiropractic care.
“Just 3% of all adult users of chiropractic services are POC”.– American Black Chiropractic Association.
Dr. Westbrooks knew he had to do something to address the need for minority supportive services in the chiropractic profession. With the help of a handful of doctors of African American descent, he founded the American Black Chiropractic Association (ABCA). They set out to educate the POC community on the benefits of chiropractic care.
Their mission? To improve the prospects for individuals of color entering the profession of Doctor of Chiropractic.
When the ABCA held its first annual conference in 1981, there were just 17 people in attendance. Since then, the number of people dedicated to the cause has grown exponentially. They connect doctors, students, and supporters of chiropractic treatment from around the nation and several other countries.
Each year, the ABCA conference presents the Harvey Lillard Scholarship award to several students. The scholarships allow students in need of financial aid, to further their education in the chiropractic field, with a view to entering the profession.
As part of their ongoing community education, the ABCA recruits, encourages, and supports students to study chiropractic. They connect with organizations through their Community Outreach Projects, spreading the word about opportunities in the chiropractic profession. The most recent of which was with the Urban Youth Academy in Kansas City. The group received a tour of a college campus. There they were educated on, and inspired by, the possibilities of a career in chiropractic care.
Shown in the image above are two students from Cleveland University’s SABCA Club. The students were demonstrating a chiropractic adjustment to members of the Youth Academy.
We are proud to support the ABCA in its mission: helping to educate underserved populations on the benefits of chiropractic care, and encouraging and supporting persons of color to enter the field.
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