ADA commitment to diversity and inclusion

The ADA values diversity of backgrounds and experiences. 

ADA Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The American Dental Association strives to model diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe that these foster an innovative and dynamic culture and lead to sustainable results. They allow us to further advance the dental profession, improve the oral health of the public, and promote equity and access to oral health.

As a result, we serve and support the different identities, beliefs and perspectives of a diverse membership, leadership, workforce and staff, as well as a wide range of communities and organizations.

The diversity experience of the ADA stems from long-running programs for engaging a wide range of members and non-members in Association affairs; reducing oral health disparities across population groups; leadership development for diverse dentists; and education for ADA leaders.

Notable progress has been made over the last several years.

See how to get involved with or apply for the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals (CCPOHP)

Working with culturally diverse patients provide the dental team with tremendous opportunities to bridge cultural gaps, incorporate new treatments and disease prevention strategies into their practices, and learn about different cultural values and cultural belief systems.

Developing your knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity is one critical step you can take to better serve your patients, gain new ones, and advance oral health equity. To support you, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health offers the Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals (CCPOHP). This asynchronous, e-learning program is comprised of 3 courses containing online readings, activities, and a post-test, totaling 6 CE credits. This course will give the entire dental team the basic cultural and linguistic competency needed in order to gain the:

  • Knowledge to deliver higher quality care to your patients across lines of racial, ethnic, and cultural differences.
  • Skills needed to decrease clinical errors related to cultural and linguistic differences and grow your business.
  • Awareness of oral health care disparities due to racial and ethnic differences to better support health equity measures.

Progress with diversity and inclusion 


Launched Amplifying Voices, a new webinar that provides a platform for conversations on diversity and inclusion. Created ADA Accelerator Series, a program that provides financial, leadership and work/life balance tools to help member accelerate their life and success, their way.


The ADA 2020-2025 Diversity and Inclusion Plan enhances opportunities for diversity and inclusion progress across the national, state and local levels through focus, alignment and partnership.

ADA expanded its definition of diversity to be more inclusive.

Resolution 85H-2019. Resolved that the ADA defines diversity through many dimensions, including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, age, physical abilities/qualities, sexual orientation, religious and ideological beliefs, professional practice choices and personal lifestyle preference.


The ADA continued its work to increase leadership diversity, including expansion of its Institute for Diversity in Leadership from 12 to 16 participants and approved funding for a new leadership development network designed to increase the pool of potential ADA leaders from diverse backgrounds.


In support of its Diversity and Inclusion Plan, the ADA supported increasing leadership diversity as a strategic focus and launched a process to gain deeper insights into increasing leadership diversity across all levels of the ADA. The ADA also made progress in expanding diverse perspectives to inform the Board of Trustees in its decision-making process.


The ADA implemented a two-year diversity and inclusion plan with goals designed to enhance diversity and inclusion within its membership, leadership, and educational resources.


The definition of diversity was expanded beyond membership diversity.

Resolution 54H-2011. Resolved, that ADA diversity is defined as differences related to personal characteristics, demographics, and professional choices.


The year was pivotal for the ADA regarding diversity and inclusion with the historic 2010 National Summit on Diversity in Dentistry and the investiture of Dr. Raymond Gist as the Association’s first African-American president. The Diversity Summit Presidents’ group, stemming from the Summit continues to meet on a regular basis.