The Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon (OTAO) recognizes Elizabeth Martin for her courageous leadership and dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Elizabeth selflessly devoted her time, skill and energy to OTAO and to the profession of occupational therapy and its practitioners. As the OTAO DEI Task Force Committee chair, Elizabeth facilitated a group of 24 Oregon occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) in the creation of a plan of action for OTAO to commit to and enact racial injustice.
In June of 2020, OTAO reached out to Oregon OTs requesting volunteerism in the form of participating in a DEI Task Force. OTAO hoped to assemble OTs from a diverse background to address racial injustice in response to recent injustices and centuries of trauma experienced by the Black community. OTAO received responses from practitioners throughout the state, forming an official Task Force for diversity, equity and inclusion. This Task Force acted as OTAO’s first step toward broadening its work to comprehensively promote equity, diversity and inclusion for the Black community, people of color, indigenous peoples and people from marginalized groups. The DEI task force reinforces OTAO’s mission to advocate for and educate OTAO members to address the ongoing injustices towards people of color and promote equity and inclusion as a human right. Elizabeth Martin was chosen to lead this group of OTPs and, within 3 months, this group created a living document from which OTAO has been able to take actionable and intentional steps toward its goals.
The foundational work Elizabeth Martin and the DEI task force members initiated have impacted the functionality of OTAO and the future vision of our organization.
For more information on how Elizabeth Martin, OTD, MHA, OTR/L, QMHP-R, CCTP can impact your organization or to support her community-based vision supporting healthcare access to marginalized adults, connect with her private practice, Holistic Community Therapy, LLC. To hear an engaging and inspiring interview with Elizabeth, check out her recent interview on the podcast Therapy Entrepreneurs and Leaders of Color here.
Elizabeth has led diversity task forces at Pacific University and at Our House of Portland. She developed one of the first Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) executive board positions in the nation that served to address concerns experienced by diverse students.
Elizabeth currently owns Holistic Community Therapy, a community-based mental health practice that seeks to support marginalized adults. Using her previous experience in public health education, she has become an advocate for socio-economically and culturally vulnerable populations, through holistic service, with a strong emphasis on mental and spiritual well being. Elizabeth believes OT to be a gateway of service for many who may slip through the cracks due to economic hardship and unjust societal exclusion. Her mission is to create, through practice, a world where all are included, respected and valued.
Elizabeth (she/her) is a black, mixed-race, native (Cherokee), mental health occupational therapist living on the land of the Multnomah, Wasco, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Cowlitz, bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and many other Tribes who made their homes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Elizabeth is the first in her nuclear and extended family to go to college, completing an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree. Other constituencies Elizabeth hails from include: LGBTQ+, cis-female, raised protestant/gentile (not currently practicing), raised working class – currently middle class, born/raised in the US, and raised with English as a first language.