ADA unveils Smile Tank contest to find best diversity, inclusion ideas

Do you have the best idea on how to advance diversity and inclusion in the dental profession?

The ADA Diversity and Inclusion Committee launched Sept. 1 a new contest to find creative ways to help theAssociation become a more inclusive organization.

Aptly called Smile Tank — after the show Shark Tank, where a panel of potential investors listen to entrepreneurs pitch ideas, the committee will select five entries to present their ideas during SmileCon in Las Vegas.

The winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize, and will be featured in various ADA publications including the ADA News and ADA New Dentist News, and other ADA channels.

“Diversity and inclusion are vital to the success our Association,” Dr. Julio Rodriguez, chair of the Diversity and Institute Committee. “And this year is a year of new ideas and innovation. Smile Tank is a new approach to find out what is important to our members, as we work hard to be relevant to all dentists. I encourage everyone to participate and have your creative ideas shape our future and help our Association succeed.”

The ADA has identified diversity and inclusion as two of its core values, striving itself to incorporate both values into its everyday decisions and interactions.

To submit a Smile Tank entry by the Sept. 17 deadline, visit and answer the survey question: “How can the ADA create a culture of diversity and inclusion for the dental profession?”

Responses must be 1,000 words or less. Dentists also have the option of including a 1-2 minute video. To be eligible, applicants must be an ADA member and be available to present in person at SmileCon on Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Member Center. No current member of the ADA Board of Trustees, Council on Membership, New Dentist Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee are eligible.

The ADA Diversity and Inclusion Committee will review all nominations and select the top five finalists.

At SmileCon, the finalists will present to an American Idol-style judging panel — Kevin Kai, D.D.S., New Dentist Committee member; Nipa Thakkar, D.M.D., ADA Council on Membership; and Susan Doroshow, D.D.S., 8th District trustee and member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee — who will select the winning idea. Jeffrey Kahl, D.D.S., chair of the Council on Membership will emcee.

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