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Full Story

National Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission

Nov 24, 2020

In the fall of 2020, members of ACAPT identified an urgent need to establish an entity charged with establishing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community within our educational programs to answer the charge of the Institute of Medicine, NIH, and CDC to provide equitable health care to our patients. 

The formation of a Commission was proposed and approved by the majority of the ACAPT membership at its Annual Business Meeting on October 16, 2020. 

ACAPT is seeking three commission member volunteers to serve three-year terms.  Interested parties must send their Commission Consent to Serve Bio Statement by Sunday, January 10, 2021 to acapt@acapt.org.

The following outlines the responsibilities and structure of this Commission.

Purpose: The Commission shall:

  1. Lead ACAPT in developing effective initiatives to support member institutions with efforts to increase the representation of racial and ethnic minority students and faculty;

  2. Create new anti-racist and anti-bias policies and programming that will stimulate academic programs to strive for equity, diversity, and inclusion and support them in that effort; and

  3. Work collaboratively with the DEI consortium to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within physical therapist education. 

Objectives: To increase 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 and increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities among faculty and leadership in professional education.

The Commission shall develop clear goals that will foster the emergence of historically marginalized leaders and will give them the resources they need to move our profession forward. 

The charge to the Commission will be: In accordance with the objectives outlined in the approved motion mentioned above, the following outline the key charges to the Commission:

  1. Review and prioritize the recommendations from the 2016 Final Report from the Diversity Task Force,
  2. Provide budget estimates to fund the 2016 recommendations, 
  3. Suggest new recommendations for action beyond the 2016 recommendations with associated budget estimates, 
  4. Submit a report by June 2021 to the ACAPT Board of Directors that includes the Commission’s 5-year plan to address the identified priorities with associated budget requests, and
  5. Submit a report to the ACAPT membership at the Annual Business Meeting at ELC in 2021 detailing the Commission’s approved 5-year plan, budget, and progress to date.
  6. The priorities should include those that can be accomplished within a 1-2-year timeframe (short-term activities and initiatives) and those that will take 3-5+ years (longer-term activities and initiatives). 


  1. The Chair of the ACAPT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consortium who will serve as a co-chair with
  2. One member of the ACAPT Board of Directors, appointed by the President of the Board
  3. Three additional members will be elected by the ACAPT membership through a special election to be held by no later than January 15, 2021. Those elected shall assume office by February 2021.  These three additional members shall be:
  • One member of faculty
  • One Director of Clinical Education
  • One Academic Administrator affiliated with a physical therapist education program*

*  An academic administrator may be a director, chair, vice-dean, assistant dean, dean, etc.

Timeline and reporting requirements:

  1. Form an initial action plan and priority list within 3 months of assuming office and present it to the Board of Directors for review.  The action plan should include a recommended list of additional resource persons with expertise and/or additional perspective in D, E, & I issues. One individual must have formal training and/or occupy an institutional position responsible for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  2. Present a quarterly progress report to the Board that shall include references and collaborations

Ongoing responsibilities:

  1. Meet monthly via conference calls to review tasks completed and next steps to meet deadlines and objectives 
  2. Report progress/updates to the Board of Directors monthly 
  3. Seek input and collaboration from The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Consortium’s membership who will help to provide an infrastructure to support the emergence of new leadership. 

Guiding principles: Members of the Commission shall:

  1. Remain in compliance with ACAPT’s antitrust guidelines. 
  2. Avoid any conflicts of interest and notify other members of the Commission should any conflicts develop.
  3. Not involve any commercial interests. 
  4. Engage multiple individuals in physical therapy education (e.g., those who contribute and benefit therefrom).
  5. Address issues within identified timelines.  
  6. Endeavor to work toward a positive impact for all parties involved.
  7. The co-chairs, faculty member, and DCE must be individual members of ACAPT member institutions in good standing. The other elected or appointed members of the Commission might not be eligible for individual membership and are therefore not required to be members of ACAPT. 

References: The Commission will be guided by ACAPT’s Diversity Task Force Report.  The Commission may refer to other resources such as The Black Rehabilitation Manifesto or other external documents deemed relevant to the work. 


  1. Support of ACAPT Staff 
  2. Use of ACAPT’s Basecamp for dialogue, document sharing, and project management
  3. Use of an ACAPT conference call line 
  4. Use of ACAPT’s SurveyMonkey account 
  5. Dedicated funding within the ACAPT budget as determined by the Board of Directors
  6. Additional resources as may be requested and upon approval of the Board of Directors

Copyright Assignment: Applicants seeking election to the Commission will be asked to complete an assignment of copyright form and send to ACAPT along with their consent to serve.


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