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The 2023 Lynda D. Woodruff Lecture

on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Physical Therapy

Thursday, June 16, 2023 at 7 pm ET - Contribute Today

This annual lecture, a collaborative effort by the Physical Therapy Learning Institute (PTLI), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the American Academy of Physical Therapy (AAPT), the National Association of Black Physical Therapists (NABPT), the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), and the APTA Academy of Education, is held annually on or around Juneteenth in honor of Dr. Lynda D. Woodruff, a co-founder of PTLI and a pioneer in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in physical therapy education and practice. Our intent is to ensure that her legacy lives on in a format that ignites action, innovations, and solutions on issues related to DEI and social justice. Importantly, we hope to create a platform to address systemic barriers to opportunity and access for underrepresented minorities (URMs) in our profession.


Without Us, We are Not Complete: Proffering Pragmatic Solutions to Combating the Costs to Society of the Lack of Diversity and Representation in the Profession of Physical Therapy.

Presented By:  Emmanuel B. John, PT, DPT, PhD, MBA, MPH, FAHA, FIMC


Members of a large family posed for an official portrait. The public release of the official family portrait has significant socioeconomic values, rights, privileges, and wellbeing that accrues to each member appearing in the family photo and hold benefits for the society. However, certain family members were not present for the photoshoot, and are therefore excluded from the rights, benefits, and privileges thereof. This scenario is costly to both the unrepresented members, the family, and the society. Indeed, the family's aggregate and overall commonwealth is negatively impacted and not maximized.


The above metaphor is akin to the state of the profession and its ability to maximally offer physical therapy and related public health services to society. The lack of representation, and issues relating to inclusion, equity and belonging in our profession today, remains stubborn to change. In this 2023 Woodruff lecture, l will revisit the true costs to society, and its intersection with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the profession, from a family analogy. l will proffer innovative and pragmatic solutions. We are family, and this is a family matter. Let's resolve it. I will be calling out specific family members (not individuals, but groups) who have the capacity to help make real changes.

Take home message: Without the representation of all groups in the profession, our physical therapy family is indeed not complete.

Date:  Thursday, June 16th, 2023 starting at 7:00 pm ET

Discussion Panel:

  • Mica Mitchell, PT, DPT (moderator), assistant professor of physical therapy at Methodist University and an American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties board-certified clinical specialist in pediatric physical therapy

  • Michael Harris-Love, PT, MPT, DSc, FGSA, FAPTA, Joanne Posner-Mayer endowed chair in physical therapy, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

  • Barnette Keitt, PTA, MHA, acute care rehab supervisor at Prisma Health Tuomey

  • Katherine Sylvester, PT, DPT, private practice owner in Macon, Georgia 

Lecture Info:

On June 15, 2023 the link to the lecture will be uploaded to the 2023 Lynda D. Woodruff Lecture page.  We recommend adding a reminder to your calendar to check for the link prior to the lecture at 7:00 pm ET.

Registration Fee:
We continue to welcome donations to the LDW Professional Development Sponsorship Fund on JEDI in PT so that we may continue to promote and grow researchers from historically marginalized and minoritized groups or others that are looking to conduct health disparities research. PTLI's goal is to raise a minimum of $2,000 per year to fund at least one sponsorship to a PT educational research workshop (GAMER or TIGERR). Please contribute towards our sponsorship efforts as part of the LDW Professional Development Sponsorship Fund on JEDI in PT using the PayPal Contribute button below. This contribution will be in lieu of registration for the LDW Lecture (live and recorded). For your tax records, please print the PayPal transaction receipt.

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