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Charae McConnell, OTD, OTR/L


Social factors surrounding race and ethnicity often create barriers to meaningful occupation and keep people of color from achieving a greater quality of life (Pooremamali et al., 2016). These barriers often result in occupational deprivation and feelings of alienation in society. Research has shown that these barriers created by systematic racism exist for individuals across different environments and persist over their lifetime (Pooremamali et al., 2016). Because of these barriers and the prolonged stress responses caused by racism, people of color, especially black and brown, have significantly higher rates of chronic illness than White Americans. People of color, specifically African Americans, experience increased levels of stress from discrimination, criminal victimization, and financial stress, compared to others, while also being disproportionately burdened by chronic disease (Geronimus et al., 2006). These facts make it clear that people of color face difficulties that significantly decrease quality of life. This article aims to describe the unique barriers facing people of color and investigate the many areas of a person’s life affected by racism, which directly or indirectly influence occupational performance. In addition, it will explore occupational therapy interventions that use Racially Informed Care (RIC), a practice model that supports people of color in coping with racism to promote the fullness of life through successful engagement in meaningful occupations to which all human beings are entitled.


The author declares that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.