by Jana Young, Class of 2007, CCMH Admissions Coordinator
At CCMH we train and graduate skilled massage therapists to enter the profession and make a difference in the lives of their patients. But are we missing the mark when it comes to diversity? Is there more we can do to ensure that people of color and people of various gender identities also have access to therapists who understand them and their needs on a deeper level?
I’ve had the unique opportunity to speak with prospective students and applicants from many ethnic backgrounds and other diverse populations. Some of the common themes I hear are that folks will often choose therapists that they can relate to because of shared features/interests/backgrounds, but it can be difficult to find massage therapists who fit their criteria.
As we learn and grow as a school, some of the questions I endeavor to answer are: How can we encourage more diversity in the ranks of our students, to ensure that there continues to be adequate diversity represented in the profession? What are the barriers to training for specific populations? What can we do as a school to help? And most importantly, how do we accomplish this without tokenism? Through student services practices, professional development, respectful marketing, equitable hiring practices, and communication with our current students, we commit to increase in our cultural sensitivity, supporting both our students and the profession in general.