Diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural humility are given emphasis in the efforts of both students and faculty in the Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. Current and ongoing initiatives are highlighted below.
Therapy Entrepreneurs and Leaders of Color podcast
This podcast series was created by Tomeico Faison, MS, OTR/L, an alumna of the UNC MSOT program. The purpose of this podcast is to inspire therapists by sharing the accomplishments of therapy entrepreneurs and leaders of color and to support them in their roles. UNC OT faculty member, Dr. Khalilah Johnson, is featured in the second podcast, which is linked here: Podcast: Dr. Khalilah Johnson. Tomeico, a leader and entrepreneur herself, has captured meaningful and important stories from leaders of color in our field, so please take a listen!
WordCloud based on participant responses
On January 22, 2020, forty MS students, PhD students, and faculty from the Division had the privilege of experiencing the Groundwater Training provided by the Racial Equity Institute.
In this training, the presenters used stories and data to introduce and discuss the perspective that racism is structural…that is, it is embedded in core social, societal, and institutional systems and goes far deeper than individual biases or prejudice. All of us acknowledged significant learning from this experience, and left with questions and incentives that can help lead us to “next steps” both individually and as a program.
NCOTA Fall Conference Presentation
Linn Wakeford, PhD, OT/L, FAOTA and Racquel Fisher, MS, OTR/L presented on the topic of increasing diversity in occupational therapy in North Carolina. Key facts and contexts were reviewed, and then the audience participated in a discussion and brainstorming process. This brainstorming process was designed to elicit ideas about how to recruit and support individuals from under-represented minorities, from rural areas, and from low-income backgrounds into the profession. The PowerPoint presentation linked here is an updated version of the conference presentation, and includes a summary of results of the brainstorming and discussion.
In the Professional Development course, taken in the spring semester of the second year of the MSOT program, one or more student projects focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of these projects was the development of a recruitment video highlighting OTs who identify as belonging to a minority population.
Is Occupational Therapy the Career for You? from UNC Allied Health Sciences on Vimeo.
Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) Diversity & Inclusion Committee
The work of this committee includes developing materials for and connections with local public schools and undergraduate groups on the UNC campus to promote OT as a possible career for students from underrepresented minorities. UNC SOTA is also an active chapter of the Coalition for Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity, an organization that operates at the national level.
Faculty-initiated group of current students, alumni, and faculty members who are committed to increasing the diversity of the profession and of the MS and PhD programs at UNC-Chapel Hill. Meetings are held approximately twice per semester, and members include and collaborate with members of the SOTA Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Diversity Awareness Scholarship
This scholarship was initiated by UNC OT Alumnus Stacy Wilson, Class of 2010. Stacy is a founding member of COTAD, and is also working with the Dive-In committee. Application for the scholarship requires that the student outline a way in which he or she will conduct an outreach event that supports the recruitment of diverse individuals into occupational therapy.