APTA Diversity Outreach Initiative
The Student Assembly Board of Directors would like to introduce you to our Diversity Outreach Initiative. We feel there is no better time than now to implement our initiative to physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) who provide services to culturally diverse individuals. The purpose of the Diversity Outreach Initiative is to promote cultural diversity within the physical therapy community, to help meet the needs of student PTs and student PTAs of color, and to strengthen underserved communities within the United States and abroad.
The Student Assembly Board of Directors has defined 4 key areas essential in moving this initiative forward:
- Mentorship - We want to provide all interested students of color with a mentor of similar ethnic background to assist their development inside and outside the classroom. This mentor will be a PT or PTA who is an APTA member in good standing.
- Youth Outreach - We want to educate our youth from middle school through university levels on the profession of physical therapy, to foster their awareness of this great profession as a possible career path. This message will emphasize the value of education and instill in students a strong work ethic to reach their goals.
- Community Outreach - We want to educate underserved communities, often with health care disparities, in making healthier lifestyle choices. We want to empower and equip them with the tools to apply concepts of wellness and prevention. Our message will be heard not only within these communities, but also when we rally on Capitol Hill Day.
- Global Outreach - Similar to community outreach, we want to take our message abroad. We want to increase the numerous physical therapy programs already partaking in community service overseas and let our message be heard to all those in need.
The Student Assembly Board of Directors initiative will require the support of many and will not be accomplished in a single day. How long will it take? In the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, “Not long.” We are writing not only to inform you of our initiative but to ask for help and support along the way. Perhaps you can work with us in developing a mentoring program within your state or section. Perhaps you will work with us in developing outreach toolkits as the essential first steps in benefitting our youth and communities. Or perhaps you are part of a DPT or PTA program that currently engages in community service activities abroad and would like to open your doors for passionate students to join you? No contribution is too big or small, and we greatly appreciate all input and support. The Diversity Outreach Initiative is open to all who feel strongly spreading cultural diversity.
For more information, please contact Chukwuemeka Nwigwe, Student Assembly Nominating Committee Member at email@example.com, or Leiselle Pilgrim, Student Assembly Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading this message, and we look forward to working with you! Please contact any member on the Student Assembly Board of Directors to get involved!
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