Department of Physical Therapy Statement of Solidarity with Black Communities

The University of Toronto Department of Physical Therapy stands in solidarity with Black communities in Toronto, across Canada, and around the world. We are outraged by the police brutality experienced by Black, Indigenous and other racialized people, and we stand with these communities in demanding justice. We reject claims that racism does not exist in Canada. Racism, and anti-Black racism in particular, are real, longstanding and interwoven throughout our society. 

As a profession dedicated to wellbeing, function and thriving, we recognize the profoundly negative effects of racism on the lives of Black people. The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a spotlight on the historic and systemic inequities experienced by Black people. This is not only a public health crisis but a crisis of humanity. These inequities are life threatening and require action to address anti-racism. We are committed to interrupting the cycles of violence and harm perpetrated on Black people. There must be a move towards meaningful conversation and concrete action to eradicate the limitations imposed on Black communities, which restrict their potential and progress. The ongoing dehumanization of Black lives is unacceptable. The deaths of George Floyd and countless others are examples of the dehumanizing effect that anti-Black racism and violence have on Black bodies. This must stop. Black lives matter. 

We recognize that we are a profession overrepresented by people who are white, and underrepresented by Black, Indigenous and other racialized people. We have work to do to come to understand how our department and the profession of physiotherapy can ensure a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community of students, faculty and staff. We pledge to take action to dismantle structural racism in our educational and research programs, and beyond.

At this time of suffering, pain and fear, we commit to standing in solidarity with Black communities – including our Black students, faculty, staff, patients, and colleagues. We recognize this is a local and global crisis. We all have a role to play in the solution. We see this injustice. We are outraged. We stand together. We will move together.