Occupational Therapy Association of Californa


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Committee Co-Chairs

Karrie Kingsley

Karrie Kingsley, OTD, OTR/L

Michelle Arakaki

Michelle Arakaki, OTD, OTR/L

OTAC Statement:

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Occupational Justice Committee (DEIOJ)

OTAC is committed to creating an environment in which diversity, equity, and inclusion are encouraged, supported, and embraced. As occupational therapy practitioners, we recognize that systemic racism oppresses and harms individuals, families, and communities' occupational development and functioning. We acknowledge that work in support of diversity and inclusion requires a partnership among our members. OTAC has established an ad hoc Committee of DEIOJ to tackle the following deliverables:

  1. Identify areas of immediate importance regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion for OTAC members and the profession.
  2. Identify goals and milestones to direct our efforts.
  3. Evaluate current systems/structures within OTAC to determine how they support or do not support diversity.
  4. Provide guidance to the OTAC Board of Directors on initiatives that can be taken by OTAC to promote diversity within the occupational therapy workforce
  5. Identify ways diversity, equity, and inclusion can be represented in OTAC leadership
  6. Provide evidence-based recommendations (structures, strategies, and trainings) to educate OTAC leadership on how to engage in structured, well-facilitated, open dialogs about diversity, equity, and inclusion
  7. Assess the function and future of the Ad Hoc Committee


Thurgood Marshall’s Birthday (July 2nd)

Thurgood Marshall became the first Black Supreme Court Justice in 1967. He was also a well-known civil rights activist.

Dalai Lama’s Birthday (July 6th)

This day marks the birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama, the most famous Buddhist teacher in the world.

Frida Kahlo’s Birthday (July 6th)

This day marks the birthday of Frida Kahlo, a woman of Mexican descent, who is one of the most influential painters of the 20th century.

The Hajj (July 7th)

The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage and one of the pillars of Islam where Muslims take their once in a lifetime journey to Mecca and perform a series of rituals.

Puerto Rican Day Parade (June 12)

Known as the largest demonstration of cultural pride in the United States, this event brings awareness to the history and culture of Puerto Ricans. It typically takes place on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

World Population Day (July 11th))

This day brings attention to the importance and urgency of population issues.

International Nonbinary People’s Day (July 14th)

This day is aimed at raising awareness of both contributions and issues surrounding nonbinary individuals around the world.

Nelson Mandela’s Birthday (July 18th)

Nelson Mandela was a prominent South African civil rights leader whose accomplishments include: the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993 as well as served as the country’s first Black President from 1994 to 1999 where he lead the country’s transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy.

Pioneer Day (July 25th) A holiday in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormon Church) and in the state of Utah celebrating when church founder Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake area.
Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26th

In 1990, congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. This law made it illegal to discriminate against individuals with disabilities in areas such as employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and access to state and local governments programs and services.
International Day of Friendship (July 30th) Promoted by the United Nations, this day celebrates friendship among individuals with diverse backgrounds.

Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD)

To address issues of systemic racism and oppression, occupational injustice, healthcare equity, and educational decolonization. More Information

The Employer’s Association DEI
This Association is to help organizations create inclusive workplaces with tools to support a business of various types and sizes to implement DEI initiatives, including how leaders can take action for equity, white people for racial justice. More Information

California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network
The purpose of this network is to advocate for state-level policies and resources to advance LGBTQ health bringing together non-profit providers, community centers, and researchers for common purposes. More Information

California Black Health Network
This is the only black-led, state-wide organization dedicated to advocating for health equity for all African Americans and Black Immigrants in California. This organization provides information and resources for policy and advocacy, racial justice, healthcare coverage, and studies addressing disparities and inequities in healthcare. More Information

Each Mind Matters - African American

BEAM is a national organization dedicated to training, movement building and grant-making aimed to promote the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities. Wellness strategies and problem-solving approaches are offered as a way to address mental health issues related to Black and African American communities and providers. More Information

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) aims to improve the health and well-being of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders through addressing health care access, health care quality, and health equity. APIAHF is for health justice that provides resources, creates initiatives, and works to affect policies across the U.S. More Information

National Black Occupational Therapy Caucus (NBOTC)

To advocate for black occupational therapy practitioners/students to enhance and promote their contributions to the occupational therapy. More Information

Disability Rights California
This organization provides programs and resources for individuals with disabilities including access to state services, independent living, legal advice, work assistance, and others. More Information

People, Special Emphasis Portfolios, NIH Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
With the term “EDI,” NIH creates curriculum of EDI training for NIH employees. The tab “Get Connected” lists NIH Institutes, Centers, special projects, and initiatives that have been building an EDI foundation. The blog areas have separate areas for many dimensions of diversity. More Information

Each Mind Matters - African American

This sector of the Each Mind Matters website focuses specifically on the mental health struggles of African American communities and provides resources including research in mental health and directories for African American mental health providers/therapists. Each Mind Matters provides additional mental health resources for other communities as well. More Information

California Department of Aging

This state-wide organization provides programs for older adults, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities. Programs include food, health and wellness, caregiver services, and navigating health care services. It also includes an "Equity in Aging" resource center. More Information

South Asian Network
South Asian Network is a Southern California based nonprofit with programs for healthcare, civic engagement, domestic violence prevention and anti-hate education. More Information

Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health
There are striking sex and gender differences in many health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and more. In addition to women’s health, this site also has a section on ‘Sex and Gender” which can be a resource for us to learn more about how sex/gender may influence health. More Information

The Coalition to Advance Research Equity (CARE) Network
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

A communication channel with NIMHD to share information and news related to the science of minority health and health disparities. More Information

Department of Management Health Care
Comprehensive list of resources for individuals seeking information about health care coverage and programs in California, e.g., health coverage, Aging/Medicare, cultural and Linguistic Advocacy, disabilities, mental health, etc. More Information

Religious Diversity: Practical Points for Health Care Providers
Organized by the University of Pennsylvania Health System, this site has provided a quick overview of Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jehovah’s Witness, Jewish, Muslim, and Pentecostal traditions. More Information

Indian Health Service
It is important to learn the health disparities experienced by the American Indians and Alaska Natives. This site demonstrated that they have especially high rates of diabetes mellitus, chronic liver disease, Alcohol-related death, and homicides. The "for Providers" section can be helpful for an overview. It is also important to go beyond this site to learn the historical scars: including how American Indians/Native Americans have lost their native languages and the history of Indian Residential Schools. More Information

Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
Non-profit organization aimed at supporting federal and state legislation that expands health care to millions of Latinx individuals in California. This website provides updated information about current policies and regulations that explains the rights of Latinx communities in navigating the healthcare system, available programs and resources including virtual education seminars/videos on Knowing Your Rights, research and data, and ways to get involved and support this organization. More Information

Office of Health Equity, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
This site provides regular updates on health equity and disparities-related documents. The latest Chartbook on Healthcare for Veterans provides information regarding disparities in access and healthcare quality veterans have experienced. More Information