The newly established Duke Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program’s student-led Coalition for Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) has, in only less than a year, made significant strides in promoting JEDI, anti-racism, and anti-oppression within the Duke community. Student leaders Jisun Kim, Judean Griffith, Aubrey Enriquez, Danna Atway, and Diona Boone have led the group in organizing heritage month celebrations and a donation drive to support a local houseless shelter. The students developed and analyzed a needs assessment inclusive of student, staff and faculty perspectives to identify strengths and opportunities to create a more inclusive and equitable environment within Duke OTD. Based on that assessment, they have organized and moderated several interprofessional panels discussing pressing issues related to diversity and access in practicum experiences, mindfulness and microagressions, and women’s health. Their work has contributed to a deeper sense of belonging amongst Duke OTD students while laying a foundation for future cohorts to lean into the necessary and challenging work related to JEDI.
The Student Focus feature is a part of the Graduate Professional Student Appreciation Week to highlight and thank the wonderful students and student groups that make our campus vibrant! Submissions were made by Duke staff members.