To the SPOT Community
These are times of frustration, anger and sadness, particularly for our Black students, faculty, and administrative staff. SPOT recognizes that, as health care professions, occupational therapy and physical therapy are deeply rooted in white privilege. Further, we are acutely aware that Black communities have long been offered public statements promising change and reforms to existing systemic racism that have largely gone unfulfilled.
To those who face daily oppression in aspects of your life and whose safety and wellbeing is repeatedly assailed, we must do better. To those in our community who do not face this daily oppression and whose safety and wellbeing has and continues to be protected by our society, you have a privilege and power that must be used for positive social change. There is no excuse for racism in any form.
At SPOT we are actively creating initiatives to learn “more about confronting racism and cultivating allyship” (www.mcgill.ca/equity). We are committed to sustainable change, thus each of us at SPOT including faculty, staff and students must “engage in an honest self-assessment of what we understand, what we value, and what we’re willing to do to make a change” (www.mcgill.ca/equity).
We acknowledge that our SPOT community is living through both a pandemic and a galvanization around anti-racist efforts. While we may be experiencing many emotions, including trauma, daily challenges in the context of optimistic hopes for change, we trust your communities are strong. If we can be helpful, we ask you individually or collectively to reach out to us. Until then, please know that our doors are open, we are listening and practicing allyship.
Laurie M. Snider OT, PhD
Director and Associate-Dean
School of Physical & Occupational Therapy (SPOT)
For a list of McGill resources on anti-Black racism, please consult this link.
For a list of McGill equity education workshops, please consult this link.
Internally, the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy hosted a series for all SPOT faculty, staff and students, the Scholars' Rounds, addressing Anti-racist pedagogy in healthcare education, Introduction to systems of oppression in healthcare education, Anti-ableist pedagogy in healthcare education, and Intersectionality in healthcare education.