The Division of Physical Therapy hosted a virtual panel discussion on Feb. 23 about the importance of diversity within the field of physical therapy, in honor of Black History Month.
The event, entitled “Revisiting the Question: What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?” was a collaborative event between the diversity and inclusion (DEI) committees from UCF Physical Therapy and the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. The conversation centered around race, gender, and allyship within physical therapy. UCF’s committee hosted nationally-known leaders in DEI within sports physical therapy from Stanford Athletics, University of North Carolina, and Washington DC, with attendees spanning the country.
“Having discussions surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion are important for both students and faculty,” says Dominick Haynes, a current DPT student and one of the event coordinators. “These discussions allow us to be more informed about the experiences of our patients and peers from diverse backgrounds.”
“The panel was very helpful,” says second year student Goldshawn Guinto. “I learned strategies to promote diversity and to lower disparities within the profession of physical therapy, as well as ways to support an inclusive and safe culture.”
“We each have a very important role to play in establishing environments that celebrate our differences,” adds third-year student Anne Marie Hampe. “It can be hard to speak up, especially as students. But when you see something, say something. That’s how change happens.”