Gallery Walk Highlights

About the Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Dimensions of Health Gallery

What is the gallery: This gallery showcases innovative teaching resources focused on equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and anti-oppression designed by our final year MScPT students as the culmination of their Department of Physical Therapy “SPEC” curriculum. To learn more, see the article in UofT Faculty of Medicine news.

What is the “SPEC” curriculum”: SPEC stands for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural (SPEC) Dimensions of Health and Healthcare, and is a theme that runs throughout our 24-month curriculum. These teaching resources are the result of the final SPEC assignment, which aimed to build critical reflexivity regarding privilege and how one’s social locations are related to systems of inequality.

What was the Gallery WalkThe 65 student-designed teaching resources were launched on March 26, 2021 with an event that included 6 curated exhibition discussions led by faculty facilitators and guest stars. During the live Gallery Walk event, guests were invited to “walk” through the rooms to listen in and join dialogues reflecting on EDI and anti-oppression in physiotherapy and healthcare (see below).

What is the Coin Model of Privilege and Critical Allyship: The coin model was used as the framework for understanding systems of inequality (i.e., coins) and how one’s social locations position people as either receiving unearned advantage (top of coin) or disadvantage (bottom of coin). EDI efforts commonly focus on learning about people who are oppressed (bottom of coin), but ignore the system of inequality producing this disadvantage, or the complicity of people on the top of coin within these systems. Students were challenged to create teaching resources that focused on illuminating the coin and/or top of coin, and how we can interrupt these harmful patterns in physiotherapy.

To learn more, please contact the SPEC curriculum co-leads Dr. Stephanie Nixon and Dr. Barbara Gibson.

Explore the teaching resources and guides


The “Right” Way to Speak


Guide to the Resource

Bernice Lau


“Caught In-between”: Racism and being East-Asian


Guide to the Resource

Bethany Lam and Ingrid Yuen


How Assumptions about Skin Colour Can Reproduce Racism in Physical Therapy Education in Canada


Guide to the Resource

Julie Fayez, Michael Porreca and Roshni Ravi


“Well, Let’s Listen” – A Critical Re-imagining of the “Bell Let’s Talk” 2021 ToolKit


Guide to the Resource

Kiren Kaloty


Combating Weight Bias in Physiotherapy Practice


Guide to the Resource

Alexander Moyes


Dieting, a Piece of Cake? No Weigh: A brief perspective into the challenges and stigma of weight loss


Guide to the Resource

Andrew Daly and Diane Kim


Rediscovering (Dis)abilities


Guide to the Resource

Sandra Al Ali


Is walking really the ideal?


Guide to the Resource

Grace Underwood


Program for The Gallery Walk, March 26, 2021, 11am-1:30pm

11:00-11:25 – Opening remarks

  • Welcome: Stephanie Nixon
  • Department of Physical Therapy Chair’s remarks: Susan Jaglal
  • Keynote: Stephanie Lurch

11:25-11:30 – Transition time

11:30-12:10 – Exhibition discussions 1

  • Red 1 room: Martine Quesnel (faculty facilitator) + Sudhir Daya  (guest)
  • Blue 1 room: Barbara Gibson (faculty facilitator) + Dan Mossip-Balkwill (guest)
  • Yellow 1 room: Stephanie Lurch (faculty facilitator) + Suruthi Jeyakumar (guest)

12:10-12:30 – Break

12:30-1:10 – Exhibition discussions 2

  • Red 2 room: Lindsay Beavers (faculty facilitator) + Harikrishnan Gopalakrishnan Nair (guest)
  • Blue 2 room: Barbara Gibson (faculty facilitator) + Stella Ng (guest)
  • Yellow 2 room: Stephanie Lurch (faculty facilitator) + Cynthia Lawson Lurch (guest)

1:10-1:15 – Transition time

1:15-1:30 – Closing remarks


Guest bios


Harikrishnan (Hari) Gopalakrishnan Nair (he/him) is a multi-talented visual artist, poet, fashion designer and media personality. He is an alumnus of the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging Program, works clinically at the Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute (TAPMI) at Women’s College Hospital, and lectures in the UofT Department of Physical Therapy as part of the pain team. Hari is currently re-deployed for COVID related duties as a team lead for mobile vaccination units as well as school and community testing.

Suruthi Jeyakumar (she/her) is a freelance creator and student currently in her last year of Advertising and Graphic Design at Humber College. Although working primarily with digital content, she started her journey in traditional mediums. Most of Suruthi’s work is shaped around exploring diverse concepts through abstract imagery and typography.

Cynthia Lawson Lurch (she/her) is a Black renaissance woman: “a woman who is interested in and knows a lot about many things” (Webster). She is a child of the civil rights movement, a great grandmother, a teacher, a leader, and a humanitarian. As a Jamaican immigrant, retired nurse and someone living with a chronic health condition, she has been both a caregiver to those on the margins and a survivor of inequitable care. She hopes to change surviving into thriving.

Dan Mossip-Balkwill (he/him) has been working with people experiencing homelessness through street outreach work and the shelter system. He has also facilitated group sessions and co-created a peer support program with service users.  Dan has been organizing with Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) for the last two years, and prior to that, worked on campaigns to raise social assistance rates in Ontario and environmental issues in Southern Ontario. 

Stella Ng (she/her) was motivated by her clinical experiences as a pediatric audiologist to study how health professionals learn to practice well in response to the complexities of people’s lives, the health system, and society. Stella studies critical pedagogy and knowledge mobilization approaches to support the development of compassionate, ethical, and reflective practitioners. Stella is a Scientist at the Wilson Centre, Director of Research at the Centre for Faculty Development, and Associate Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology.

Sudhir Daya (he/him) is a gay, cisgender, able-bodied male of South Asian heritage who grew up in apartheid South Africa before emigrating to the UK. He runs The Life Architect (Links to an external site.) (a human potential consultancy) and its man.I.cure project (Links to an external site.) that explores structural patriarchy. Sudhir is a practising physiotherapist, convenor of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s LGBTQIA+ network (Links to an external site.), and a member of CSP’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network. @sudhir_daya