This resource tab has been developed as an initiative of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.  The DEI committee focuses on education and advocacy of diversity, equity and inclusion in alignment with AOTA’s 2025 vision.  As a part of that initiative, this page is intended to highlight resources across a range of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion perspectives.  In providing these resources, ALOTA is not endorsing all positions of authors.  However, we believe that there is always value in hearing the perspectives of those with lived experience and expertise in a diverse range of topics and perspectives.  
Special thanks to Carl Robinson, the ALOTA DEI committee chair for developing this resource.  
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Carl Robinson, MS, OTR/L, ALOTA DEI Chair




TEDtalksDirector. (2019, June 26). How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | baratunde thurston. YouTube. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZgkjEdMbSw “Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on Black Americans who have committed the crimes of ... eating, walking or generally "living while Black." In this profound, thought-provoking and often hilarious talk, he reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into stories of healing -- while challenging us all to level up.”


TEDtalksDirector. (2019, September 12).Let's stop talking about diversity and start working toward equity | paloma medina. YouTube. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deYUUfak08YPaloma Medina challenges our paradigm of diversity in the workplace and in society with this eloquent, humorous talk. We need to do a “find and replace” in our vocabulary challenging the concept of diversity vs. equity.”

TEDtalksDirector. (2010, October 6). The Power of Vulnerability | brene brown. YuTube. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0 This is not directly related to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. But this video expresses how we can cultivate courage, compassion and connection. Three components which I think are necessary to have meaningful dialogue to catalyze change.

13th on Netflix-In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world's population. "13th" charts the explosive growth in America's prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith's film "The Birth of a Nation"; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs and much more.Ulf Kjell Gür


My Grandmother’s Hands - Resmaa Menakem


Overview: Therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology. The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. www.amazon.com 

Notable Quote: “In today’s America, we tend to think of healing as something binary: either we’re broken or we’re healed from that brokenness. But that’s not how healing operates, and it’s almost never how human growth works. More often, healing and growth take place on a continuum, with innumerable points between utter brokenness and total health. If this book moves you even a step or two in the direction of healing, it will make an important difference.”


What Happened to You - Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey (is largely about Trauma but has a chapter on race) 


Overview: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey, we explore powerful scientific and emotional insights into the way so many of us behave the way we do. As a survivor of neglect and abuse as a child, Oprah has joined forces with Dr. Perry to advocate for trauma survivors. www.fourminutebooks.com  


Notable Quote: “Marginalized peoples—excluded, minimized, shamed—are traumatized peoples, because as we’ve discussed, humans are fundamentally relational creatures. To be excluded or dehumanized in an organization, community, or society you are part of results in prolonged, uncontrollable stress that is sensitizing (see Figure 3). Marginalization is a fundamental trauma. This is why I believe that a truly trauma-informed system is an anti-racist system. The destructive effects of racial marginalizing are pervasive and severe.”

Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

Overview:  Bryan Stevenson gives a first-person account of his work establishing and growing the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama.  This account highlights his first hand experiences with the racial disparity and issues around incarceration in America.  He highlights experiences of vulnerable groups and much of the book centers around the story of Walter McMillian, a Black man who was frame for the murder of a girl, convicted, and sentenced to death row. 


Notable Quote:  “The opposite of poverty is not wealth. In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.”


 Racism: A short history - George M. Frederickson
Overview:  Fredrickson offers a concise historical analysis of racism in Western societies using three case studies: the Holocaust, apartheid in South Africa, and institutionalized racism in the southern United States.  Fredrickson is a respected scholar regarding issues of race and racism and offers concise and intelligent historical considerations. 

Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit- Mary-Frances Winters 


Overview: This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people--and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. www.goodreads.com 

Notable Quote: “This is what I call sublime (defined as “elevated and exalted”) ignorance. When many Black people hear stories like this, we do not know whether to scream, cry, or laugh. How could you not know that racism is alive and well in America and throughout the world? The truth is that white people are not required to know. As the dominant group, they can go through life with the privilege of never thinking about their race. Many white people still claim not to “see” race. If you do not see it, there is no reason to address it. You can be sublimely ignorant.”


Cultural Competency For Health Professionals -Shirley A. Wells, MPH, OT;, Roxie M. Black, MS, OTR/L. The American Occupational Therapy Association 


Overview: Providing sensitive, individualized, and effective intervention and care depends on the ability to cross cultural boundaries--differences in culture, lifestyle, race, gender, ethnic background, age, education, religion, class, sexual orientation, geographic location, disabilities, life experiences, occupation, and a host of others. This book will help practitioners and occupational therapy students gain perspective on the cultural diversity of clients in the health care environment, explains the "whys" and "hows" of achieving cultural competency, and will help readers' skills in this critical area. www.amazon.com 


The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work- Laura Liswood


Overview: Diversity in the workplace is a wonderful thing—but it also challenges many of today's business leaders. For managers and team-members alike, it can be difficult to navigate in a truly diverse workplace made up of people of different cultures, races, creeds, body types, hobbies, genders, religions, styles, and sexual orientations. But understanding our cultural and social differences is a major key to a high-performing, merit-based work environment.


The Loudest Duck is a business guide that explores workplace diversity and presents new ideas for getting the most business and organizational benefit from it. In the Chinese children's parable, the loudest duck is the one that gets shot. In America, we like to say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Comparing the two, it's easy to see that our different cultures teach us different sets of values, and those values often translate into different ways of doing business that may subtly advantage one culture at work and disadvantage another. www.amazon.com 


Notable Quote: “Companies are ultimately looking for increased creativity, better ideas, and multiple perspectives, so they will in fact benefit from diversity. However, we will see that achieving this takes much more effort than merely assembling a workplace that looks like Noah’s ark.”

Belonging At Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization- Rhodes Perry


Overview: Belonging at Work empowers business leaders, change agents, visionaries, and those on their way to joining them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to build inclusive organizations. The personal stories, case studies, and practical strategies featured in the book offer everything you need to cultivate workplace cultures where all of your stakeholders can show up authentically and feel valued and respected for their contributions. Rhodes Perry’s visionary book serves as a blueprint for the future of work. His message inspires leaders at all levels within the organization to join the #BelongingMovement focused on positively impacting workplace cultures around the globe.


Belonging at Work helps you understand:


• What it means to belong.


• Why belonging matters to the future of work.


• How leaders can positively impact workplace culture.


• Where to find concrete strategies and connect with culture change thought leaders.


• Strategies to hold yourself accountable to be the change you want to see in the workplace. www.amazon.com 


We Can’t Talk About That At Work! How To Talk About Race, Religion, Politics and Other Polarizing Topics- Mary-Frances Winters


Overview: Politics, religion, race - we can't talk about topics like these at work, right? But in fact, these conversations are happening all the time, either in real life or virtually via social media. And if they aren't handled effectively, they can become more polarizing and divisive, impacting productivity, engagement, retention, teamwork, and even employees' sense of safety in the workplace. But you can turn that around and address difficult topics in a way that brings people together instead of driving them apart.


Instead of shutting down any mention of taboo topics, Mary-Frances Winters shows how to structure intentional conversations about them, so people can safely confront biases and stereotypes and create stronger, more inclusive organizations. www.amazon.com

Notable Quote: The most persuasive reason for building the skills necessary to talk about polarizing topics at work is that they are already being talked about or thought about, more than you may think. Social media is a huge factor in the increased visibility of and exposure to these issues. And even as these topics remain top of mind for most of us, in general, we lack the skills to have effective dialogue.

Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People- Mahzarin R. Greenwald


Overview: “Blindspot” is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control—shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.


The title’s “good people” are those of us who strive to align our behavior with our intentions. The aim of “Blindspot” is to explain the science in plain enough language to help well-intentioned people achieve that alignment. By gaining awareness, we can adapt beliefs and behavior and “outsmart the machine” in our heads so we can be fairer to those around us. Venturing into this book is an invitation to understand our own minds. www.amazon.com

Notable Quote: “Blindspots hide both discriminations and privileges, so neither the discriminators nor the targets of discrimination, neither those who do the privileging nor the privileged, are aware. No small wonder that any attempt to consciously level the playing field meets with such resistance.”

How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive: Jennifer Brown


Overview: We know why diversity is important, but how do we drive real change at work? Diversity and inclusion expert Jennifer Brown provides a step-by-step guide for the personal and emotional journey we must undertake to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive.


Human potential is unleashed when we feel like we belong. That's why inclusive workplaces experience higher engagement, performance, and profits. But the reality is that many people still feel unable to bring their true selves to work. In a world where the talent pool is becoming increasingly diverse, it's more important than ever for leaders to truly understand how to support inclusion.www.amazon.com

Notable Quote: “As you work to transform yourself into an inclusive leader, remember that we all know something about diversity through our own experiences, and people around us are covering on a daily basis. When a significant number of people in an organization are not reaching their full potential because they don’t feel like they belong or can bring their whole selves to work, everyone is affected.”

The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias: How To Reframe Bias, Cultivate, Connection and Create High-Performing Teams- Pamela Fuller, Mark Murphy and Anne Chow


Overview: Unconscious bias affects everyone. It can look like the disappointment of an HR professional when a candidate for a new position asks about maternity leave. It can look like preferring the application of an Ivy League graduate over one from a state school. It can look like assuming a man is more entitled to speak in a meeting than his female junior colleague. 


According to the experts at Franklin Covey, your workplace can achieve its highest performance rate once you start to overcome your biases and allow your employees to be whole people. By recognizing bias, emphasizing empathy and curiosity, and making true understanding a priority in the workplace, we can unlock the potential of every person we encounter. www.amazon.com

Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions- Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran


Overview: Jana and Baran give simple and clear tools to identify and address such acts, offering scripts and action plans for everybody involved. Knowing how to have these conversations in an open-minded, honest way will help us build trust and create stronger workplaces and healthier, happier people and communities.www.amazon.com 

Notable Quote: “One of the most critical aspects of inclusion is that it must happen actively. When we just passively think of ourselves as good people but don’t do anything to actively include others, that creates passive exclusion.”


Oliver, M. N., Wells, K. M., Joy-Gaba, J. A., Hawkins, C. B., & Nosek, B. A. (2014). Do physicians' implicit views of African Americans affect clinical decision making? The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 27(2), 177–188. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2014.02.120314 

Dunbar-Smalley, S., & Washington, S. E. (2020). A commentary on occupation, injustice, and anti-Black racism in the United States of America (Lavalley & Johnson, 2020). Journal of Occupational Science, 27(S1). https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2020.1847596 

Johnson, K. R., & Lavalley, R. (2020). From racialized think-pieces toward anti-racist praxis in our science, education, and practice. Journal of Occupational Science, 27(S1). https://doi.org10.1080/14 427591.2020.1847598

Abou-Arab, A., & Mendoca, R. (2020). Exploring implicit and explicit racial bias in OT professionals. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74, 7411500015. https://doi.org/10.5014/ ajot.2020.74S1-PO2314

Sabin, J. A., & Greenwald, A. G. (2012). The influence of implicit bias on treatment recommendations for four common pediatric conditions: Pain, urinary tract infections, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and asthma. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 988–995. https://doi.org/10.2105/APJH. 2011.300621



Trauma-Informed Care: Historical and Modern Implication of Racism and Engagement in Meaningful Activities Alaa Abou-Arab, OTD, OTR/L

Addressing LGBTQIA+ Trauma: Your Role and Your Responsibility  Nuriya, Neuman MS, OTR/L;  Devlynn Neu MS, OTR/L, Joseph Christian Ungco OTD, OTR/L




AOTA statement on Justice and Systemic Racism:  https://www.aota.org/Publications-News/AOTANews/2020/AOTA-Statement-On-Systemic-Racism.aspx



DisruptOT -  https://www.disruptot.org/was founded by & for the international occupational therapy community. Challenging the status quo. Disrupting oppressive systems. Building community.  Social Media: @DisruptOT

https://traumainformedoregon.org/resources/new-to-trauma-informed-care/adverse-childhood-experiences-ace-study/  (This resource helps explain how cultural considerations and historical trauma and/or generational embodiment are critical health and wellbeing considerations) 

https://www.ujimainstitute.com/the-black-rehabilitation-manifestoTThe Manifesto represents a collaborative effort of Black practitioners, students, and patients/clients to verbalize our expectations of stakeholders involved in rehabilitation advocacy, community engagement, practice, research, and education. Although the recommendations do not include overly detailed events, activities, or funding amounts, these omissions are not to be misinterpreted as current or potential acceptance of superficial or performative activities.




Asian/Pacific Heritage Occupational Therapy Association 



Joe Wells, OTD, OTR/L, DPMIR


E-mail: [email protected] 

https://aphota.webs.com/The mission of the Asian/ Pacific Heritage Occupational Therapy Association (APHOTA) is:


  • to advance a greater understanding of Asian/Pacific cultural issues affecting occupational therapy practice, and

  • to support career opportunities and advancements in occupational therapy by people of Asian/Pacific heritage.




National Black Occupational Therapy Caucus (NBOTC)




Duana Russell-Thomas, OTD, OTR/L - President:[email protected] 


Candice Freeman, OTD, MOT, OTR/L - Vice President: [email protected] 


https://www.nbotc.org/Identify, share and attempt to resolve issues that are germane to African-American occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and occupational therapy students and to enhance participation in professional associations.


Network for LGBTQIA+ Concerns in Occupational Therapy






 [email protected] 


The mission of the Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, among others (LGBTQIA+) Concerns in Occupational Therapy isto support & empower LGBTQIA+ OT practitioners, students, researchers, & educators to care for their communities and shape change in their local contexts. We engage in work that is intersectional at its core, focusing on those most impacted by systems of oppression, such as TGNC communities and minoritized racial groups. The Network aspires to create the conditions for high-quality, comprehensive LGBTQIA+ health care. We equip non-LGBTQIA+ OTPs with the tools needed to become accomplices in the work to dismantle the structures that produce conditions of oppression. 


Ultimately, our work seeks to produce structures that celebrate and uplift queer joy and thriving in everyday living.


Network of Occupational Therapy Practitioners with Disabilities and Their Supporters (NOTPD)




Sandy Hanebrink, OTR/L, FAOTA, Chair, [email protected]




The mission: 


The Network of Occupational Therapy Practitioners with Disabilities and Supporters (NOTPD) is an independent organization and member of the AOTA recognized Multiculturalism, Diversity & Inclusion Network. The NOTPD advocates for equal access and inclusion of all occupational therapy practitioners, students, and members of the public in AOTA-sponsored events, programs, and services as well as in the occupational therapy profession as a whole. The NOTPD serves as a voice for its members on disability issues and is a resource on disability culture, legislation and advocacy. The NOTPD's ultimate goal is to make AOTA and the occupational therapy profession the world leaders in respecting and promoting equal access and inclusion of all people.


Occupational Therapy Network for Native Americans (OTNA)




Maggie Deforge, OTD, OTR/L, Chair


Email: [email protected]




The Mission and Purpose of Occupational Therapy for Native Americans (OTNA) is to advocate for Native Americans with disabilities, so that they can attain the highest quality of life possible through gaining their physical, psychological and spiritual independence.


As advocates, we develop and share resources for OT practitioners currently working with, or interested in working with, Native Americans. OTNA promotes the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students into the field of occupational therapy and the development of materials to educate the profession about Native issues.




Orthodox Jewish Occupational Therapy Chavrusa (OJOTC) 




Shifra K. Leiser, OTD, OTR/L, Co-Chair: [email protected]


Rivka Molinsky, PhD, OTR/L, Co-Chair: [email protected]




  • To work with our professional organizations in meeting the religious needs of our members

  • To provide a forum for our members and other occupational therapists to discuss issues related to practice and our religion

  • To educate practitioners about the cultural needs of their Jewish clients

  • To assist our members in resolving conflicts that may arise including Shabbat, Kashrut and other religious commitments


Terapia Ocupacional para Diversidad, Oportunidad y Solidaridad (TODOS) Network of Hispanic Practitioners




Dahlia Castillo, OTD, MS, OTR, co-chair: [email protected]


Sirley Marin, MOT co-chair: [email protected]


The mission:


TODOS is a network and a professional community of occupational therapy practitioners and students who have as their mission to support and mentor one another; to support the exploration of careers in occupational therapy by Hispanics/Latinos; and to promote issues of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism within the occupational therapy profession.


The purpose:


  • Provide a consistent voice to the AOTA, state, and local professional organizations regarding the needs and concerns of Hispanics/Latino practitioners, students, and consumers

  • Support and mentor one another, and promote Hispanics/Latino representation and leadership in local, state, and national decision-making bodies

  • Promote the exploration of careers in occupational therapy by Hispanics/Latinos

  • Support Hispanics/Latino practitioners who immigrate from other countries, through the process of adjustment and transition into the occupational therapy profession in the U.S.


Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD)


COTAD is a volunteer group aiming to increase diversity in the workforce and empower occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students to enhance cultural humility to create a more inclusive environment. COTAD promotes diversity and inclusion through the development of educational materials, presentations, and advocacy. COTAD’s committees focus on community outreach, academic engagement, and resource development such as the following:





To empower occupational therapy leaders to engage in practices that increase justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI); anti-racism and anti-oppression for a transformative occupational therapy profession.



Harvard Implicit Bias Test - https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Race Matters: Organizational Self-Assessment (Annie E. Casey Foundation) https://www.aecf.org/resources/race-matters-organizational-self-assessment