Diversity in Dentistry

We D.I.D It... So Can You!

Diversity In Dentistry Mentorships, Inc. brings future dental students and dental professionals into one community to share information, offer guidance, and provide encouragement.

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We aim to reach our youth early to learn how rewarding a career in dentistry is and that it can be an attainable goal. Working with our mentors throughout their educational journey will increase the dental school applicant pool of diverse, strong candidates.


Diversity In Dentistry Mentorships, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the diversity pathway from middle school to dental school through mentoring, educational experiences, hands-on programming, and scholarships to youth and pre-dental students from African-American/Black, Latinx, and Native American backgrounds.

Racial diversity among dentists does not mirror that of the U.S. population.

Studies have shown a lack of diversity in medicine leads to poor cultural competency amongst health care providers. Lack of cultural competence leads to ineffective communication, bias, and ultimately results in inequity in the delivery of healthcare including oral health to minorities that ultimately leads to poor health outcomes.

Left photo: dental mentee students sit in a classroom with dental learning equipment in front of them. Right photo: A dental mentee student wearing gloves and a mask is focused on the mould of teeth in their hands.

We aim to reach our youth early to learn how rewarding and attainable a career in dentistry can be.

Increasing the diversity in dentistry will positively impact both the lives of the dentists and the communities they serve, improving health care for everyone.


Wes and Karen Fenderson


"This program will enable Brooke Lynn to develop professional relationships, leadership skills and expand her community services experience.

I believe this program will encourage African American and all children to successfully pursue dentistry. We are beyond grateful that Dr Hishaw has created a program that will lead our daughter on to her path of greatness in the field of medicine. Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships will be a game changer for our world."

Reeka Darling

Pre-Dental Student

"Since being a part of Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships I have gained an amazing mentor who continues to support me and guide me as I navigate the steps I need to take moving forward to become a stronger applicant. I’ve also had the opportunity to connect with other minorities in dentistry through various virtual discussions, which has allowed me to gain more insight on how to address and overcome the adversities one may face pursuing a leadership role in healthcare as a minority."

Dr. Nitalya B. Williams


"It has been a fulfilling experience to mentor a young hopeful first-year dental student. I have enjoyed our talks and it feels great to provide insight and advice for navigating through dental school successfully."

Shonte Reed

D1 Dental Student

"My mentor, Dr. Laila Hishaw, has been nothing short of exceptional. She's always willing to listen, offer support, and provide advice based on her experiences to help me navigate success. In addition, my involvement with D.I.D. has given me the opportunity to connect, engage, and learn from several diverse dental professionals across the U.S.!"

Marlinda Begaye

D1 Dental Student

“I had a moment of being very proud to be on this journey and to be reminded that it matters in so many ways. Also, for me to look down the row in sim clinic to see Dimitri a few chairs away [at the Diversify Dentistry Youth Summit at ATSU] was very impactful for me. To see us both as an educator and mentor was powerful. We hardly see each other in those roles while in school since we are in different classes, so to be in those roles side by side was amazing! It was one of those ‘Wait… we are really doing this. We are manifesting our dream of becoming a dentist and we get to pave the way for younger students.' This is crazy."

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All sponsorship and affiliate revenues directly fund the development of programs and resources for our mentors and mentees.

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Diversity In Dentistry Mentorship brings future dental students and professionals into one community to share information, offer guidance, and provide encouragement.

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Diversity In Dentistry Mentorships was created by dentists from historically underrepresented groups to address the lack of diversity among dental providers.