Anti-racist OT Praxis

Earn 1 hour of continuing education by joining OT Potential after taking this course.

Anti-racist OT Praxis with Khalilah R. Johnson and Ryan Lavalley

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As occupational therapy providers, we have a duty to truly understand the word “occupation.” 

This means acknowledging the role occupation has played in shaping societal policies and norms, many of which are fundamentally unjust.

We also need to admit that our professional knowledge base, itself, is skewed.

The foundations of OT have evolved from an exclusionary context that privileged White skin, as well as other false social hierarchies. So much of what we learn, teach, and practice as OTs comes from a lens of being able to accumulate social, economic, and political power.

The article we are focusing on in this 1-hour course is a commentary that calls us to confront occupation’s role in injustice. It also provides concrete strategies for moving toward anti-racist action. We DO have the power to transform society by introducing the concept of anti-racism into our classrooms, policies, and daily practice.

After we review the article, we will be joined by its authors  Khalilah R. Johnson, PhD, MS, OTR/L and Ryan Lavalley, PhD, MOT, OTR/L to discuss ways you can create meaningful change.

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Primary Journal Article Explored

When you log in, be sure to check out the OT Potential Club’s written breakdown of the following research article. Then, share your questions and thoughts with fellow practitioners.

Supporting Research and Journal Articles

More Reading Materials on Anti-racism in OT

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to recognize the various areas in which antiracism work can manifest in the occupational therapy profession.
  • You will be able to identify the typical barriers and challenges to implementing these changes in your own practice.


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (5 minutes)

  • Quick background on racism and occupation
  • How this commentary came about
  • The purpose of this commentary
  • Author positionality
  • The authors’ charge to occupational scientists
  • Conclusion
  • Takeaways for OT practitioners

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (with Khalilah R. Johnson and Ryan Lavalley) (50 minutes)

  • How did you become interested in OS and OT research?
  • Why was it important to you to write this paper? 
  • What sorts of concrete strategies do you use to implement some of what you discuss in your own classes or work?
  • When has this gone really well?
  • When has it gone not so well?
  • What do you think are the biggest barriers for occupational scientists and occupational therapy practitioners to implementing your suggestions?
  • How does our profession need to change?
  • Looking on the horizon, what makes you excited for our profession?
This course on Anti-racist OT Praxis is AOTA approved!

This course is an independent/self-study course delivered via podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play & more. Explore your listening options on the OT Potential Podcast page.

If you need accommodations to take this course, please contact us and we will address your needs on an individual basis.

If this course were to be canceled, please see our cancellation policy on our terms page.

In order to receive a certificate for this course, you must first listen to the podcast in its entirety. Then, you will need to take the test (found at the top of this page) and earn 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.

Target Audience/Educational Level

Our target audience is occupational therapy practitioners who are looking to learn about Anti-racist OT Praxis.  The educational level is introductory.

Financial and Non-financial Disclosures

It is the policy of OT Potential to disclose any financial and non-financial interest the provider or instructor may have in a product or service mentioned during an activity. This is to ensure that the audience is made aware of any bias of the speaker.

We here at OT Potential have no financial stake in this topic.  Our guests, Khalilah R. Johnson and Ryan Lavalley, also have no financial disclosures. 


Khalilah R. Johnson, PhD, MS, OTR/L

Khalilah R. Johnson, PhD, MS, OTR/L

Khalilah is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Science in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She also serves as an affiliate research faculty member in the Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Johnson is an activist scholar. She was named the 2022 Hortense McClinton Outstanding Faculty Award by the UNC Alumni Association, the 2021 MLK Unsung Hero by the UNC Office for Diversity and Inclusion and UNC Office of the Provost, as well as recognized by the Brenau University Alumni Hall of Fame. Additionally, she is a member of the inaugural cohort of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity Scholars for Action grantees. Dr. Johnson sits on the boards of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Scientific Advisory Council, the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Autism in Adulthood, and the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity. Read full bio.

Ryan Lavalley, PhD, MOT, OTR/L

Ryan  is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Science in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Lavalley has nearly 10 years of experience in community practice of occupational therapy.

Dr. Lavalley is an active member of the occupational science and occupational therapy community. He is currently the Research Chair for the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA, a coordinating member of the International Social Transformation through Occupation Network, and the Chair of Operations for the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD).  Personally, Dr. Lavalley is proudly queer, originally hails from West Virginia, and enjoys gardening and anything outdoors. Read full bio.

This course was designed to meet your continuing education requirements

We designed the courses in the Club to meet the requirements for “online” and “independent/self-study” courses. For more details read our blog post: Can I earn OT CEUS from a podcast? To verify the requirements from your specific state (within the US), check out our post, OT Continuing Education Explained. If you are outside of the United States and have questions, please contact us.

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Anti-racist OT Praxis • OT Potential

Today we’ll be covering “Anti-racist OT Praxis” We’ll look at new research and discuss it with Khalilah R. Johnson, PhD, MS, OTR/L and Ryan Lavalley, PhD, MOT, OTR/L.

Course Provider: Organization

Course Provider Name: OT Potential

Course Provider URL:

Course Mode: Online

Start Date: 2023-03-13

Duration: 01:00:00

Repeat Count: 5

Repeat Frequency: Yearly

Course Type: Subscription

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