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Task Force on Systemic Discrimination and Racism Mitigation


In June of 2022, ACAPT's National Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission (NEDIC) hosted a Summit at The Ohio State University with the objectives to:

  • Increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities among faculty and leadership in professional education and in the physical therapy workforce.

  • Identify and promulgate policy initiatives, best practices, and resources related to increasing recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of racial and ethnic minority students (Black, Native American or Tribal Groups, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and LatinX) in physical therapist professional education programs.

This invitation-only event brought together representatives from seven health professions including physical and occupational therapy, allopathic and veterinary medicine, pharmacy, athletic training and chiropractic/naturopathy and industries including law, education, business, and engineering to craft the foundation for best practices and resources that will transform the educational experiences of underrepresented minority students and faculty in physical therapy.

With recognition that quality improvement requires the analysis of rich data to best inform change, two members of the Commission engaged in an intentional process and use of varied methods to review data and identify primary themes from the Summit. Using common qualitative analytical methods such as content analysis, textual data collected from the Summit was coded and categorized for the purpose of summarizing and developing primary themes. Frequent debriefing sessions occurred between the two primary members engaged in analysis as well as other members of the Commission.

Based on analysis of data collected from the Summit, several themes were identified as the key drivers which contribute directly to achieving the aim of increasing representation among faculty and students from historically excluded racial and ethnic groups. One of those themes has resulted in the creation of this task force.

Purpose: The purpose of this task force is:

To utilize the data and information gathered during the NEDIC Summit and examine how systemic discrimination influences the ability of individuals from historically marginalized and excluded racial and ethnic groups from successfully entering and staying in the physical therapy profession, this may include but is not limited to application review processes, admission practices and guidelines.  

Objectives: The task force will:

  • Utilize the data from the NEDIC Summit to discern the changes needed in academic physical therapy as it pertains to increasing racial and ethnic representation in education and practice and how those changes may be developed relative to systemic discrimination.
  • Collect, review, and analyze additional available data related to systemic discrimination within the DPT admissions process, DPT program completion, and systemic discrimination and career advancement within academic and clinical physical therapy.
  • Propose policies, guidelines, best practices, standards, and/or resources for adoption and implementation within academic physical therapy.


Chair:     Tara Dickson, PT, DPT, PhD - Tufts University - Phoenix

Commissioner Liaison: Ndidiamaka (Didi) Matthews, PT, DPT - University of Southern California

  • Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese, PT, EdD, FNAP - Columbia University
  • Tiffany Adams, PT, DPT, MBA - Duke University
  • Anita Campbell, PT, DPT - University of Missouri
  • Prisca Collins, PT, PhD - Florida Southern College
  • Ellen Wruble Hakim, PT, DScPT, MS, FACCWS - University of Delaware
  • Michael Harris-Love, PT, MPT, DSc, FGSA, FAPTA - University of Colorado – Denver
  • Diana Lautenberger, MA - Association of American Medical Colleges

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