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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Racial Justice
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 DEI to tackle the following deliverables:
- Identify areas of immediate importance regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion for OTAC members and the profession.
- Identify goals and milestones to direct our efforts.
- Evaluate current systems/structures within OTAC to determine how they support or do not support diversity.
- Provide guidance to the OTAC Board of Directors on initiatives that can be taken by OTAC to promote diversity within the occupational therapy workforce
- Identify ways diversity, equity, and inclusion can be represented in OTAC leadership
- 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
- Assess the function and future of the Ad Hoc Committee
- Competency of DEI: Self-Paced Learning (With CE)
May | Diversity Month
Mental Health Awareness Month
Established to raise awareness for individuals who live with mental health or behavioral issues and aims to reduce the stigma they experience.
Older Americans Month
Established in 1963 by the Administration for Community Living, this month celebrates the accomplishments of the elderly and brings greater awareness for issues of elderly abuse and neglect.
Jewish American Heritage Month
A month to recognize Jewish Americans and their importance to our nation.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
A month dedicated to this group’s long history in America and celebration of their culture
May Day (5/1)
Cinco de Mayo (5/5)
An important day in Mexican history to commemorate the anniversary of the Mexican army defeating the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Buddha’s Birthday (5-8)
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (5/17)
This date honors the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classifications of Diseases of the WHO in 1990.
|Malcolm X’s Birthday (5/19)||Malcolm X was a prominent civil rights leader and figure in the Nation of Islam in the 1960s. He was assassinated in 1965.|
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
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
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
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