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Dr. Tyra M. Banks

Welcome to My Site

Thanks for visiting! Explore my site to learn more about me, my background, and what I have to offer. If you have questions or would like to discuss an opportunity to work together, feel free to get in touch. I am available for speaking engagements and consultations.

About Me

My Story

Throughout my life, I’ve approached every challenge with enthusiasm, creativity, and a ceaseless desire to achieve success. This passion and drive have paved the way to countless opportunities, unique experiences, and exceptional relationships both personally and professionally.
I am a first-generation college graduate raised in New York City by a single parent. My experiences grounded and supported my spirit to advocate for those who, like me, have been systematically excluded.

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My Experience

I earned a BA degree in Psychology from Hunter College, an MS degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University, and my Doctor of Education Degree in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at the Peabody School of Education, Vanderbilt University. 
I have been a practicing clinician for the past 22 years.  During that time, I have had a private practice in Early Intervention and extensive experience in School-based practice within the New York City school system.
I am currently an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine and serve as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in the Programs in Occupational Therapy at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S), Columbia University. One of my core responsibilities in this role is to chart a strategic course for DEIB within our program. This involves collaborating with faculty, staff, and students to develop policies, procedures, and curricula that reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. I work in collaboration with faculty to weave DEIB and anti-racist principles into the fabric of our occupational therapy curriculum, ensuring that all students have the support and tools to be successful in the program. In addition, I lead efforts to educate students in anti-racist and inclusive healthcare practices in the Programs in Occupational Therapy. I also serve on the Anti-Racism for Medical Education Coalition, was appointed to the Dean's Strategic Planning Clinical Working Group for Inclusion and Belonging, and was also appointed to the Advisory Board for the Antiracist Educator’s Insitute at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. I have presented nationally and internationally on topics that center my current research interest area of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, as well as Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Occupational Therapy Education. My ultimate goal is to increase diversity within the occupational therapy profession and build occupational therapy practitioner's capacity to be leaders in redressing racism and dismantling oppressive systems that are barriers to equitable access to healthcare.


Hamed, R., Banks, T.M., Mahoney, D., Simon, P., Fitzpatrick Timmerberg, J., Nilsen, D. M. (2023). A Call to Shift to    Competency-Based Education. Am J Occup Ther, 77(6). 

Banks, T. M. (2023). Implicit Bias in Occupational Therapy Practice. OT Practice, 16(18), 9-12. 

Banks, T. M. (2022). Black Talent in Higher Education: Practical Retention Strategies. In A. Allen & J. Stewart, We’re Not    OK: Black Faculty Experiences and Higher Education Strategies. Cambridge University Press. 

Banks, T. M. (2020). Leading the Occupational Therapy Profession Towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Doctoral Capstone) 

Invited Presentations and Workshops

Banks, T. M. (2024, March 21). Teaching to Transgress: Integrating Antiracist Pedagogy in OT Education. [Workshop] 2024 American Occupational Therapy Association National Conference, Orlando, FL.   


Banks, T. M. (2023, December 4). Implicit Bias: Understanding its Impact on OT Fieldwork for Inclusive Education and Practice. [Workshop] 2023 Metropolitan Occupational Therapy Education Council of New York and New Jersey, New York, NY. 

Banks, T. M., Carames, C. (2023, November 10). Building Capacity Toward Culturally Effective Pediatric Care for Hispanic Families. [Platform] 2023 American Occupational Therapy Association Education Summit, Denver, CO.  


Banks, T. M. (2023, November 29). Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Moving Forward in Occupational Therapy Education. [Workshop] 2023 New York State Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Albany, NY.  


Banks, T. M. (2023, October 19-21). Racism: A Disruption in Doing, Being, Becoming and Belonging in Occupational Therapy Education. [Forum] SSO: USA 2023 Annual Research Conference, St. Louis, MO.  


Denham, Michael W., Banks, T. M. (2023, September 27-29). Building the Capacity of Healthcare Professionals Toward Anti-Racist and Inclusive Interprofessional Care Through Self-Reflection and Observation Tools. [Forum] AMA ChangeMedEd® 2023 Conference, Chicago, IL.  


Banks, T. M. (2023, April 21). Left Out of the Lesson Plan: Using Equity & Inclusion as a Lens to Create a Sense of Belonging & Develop Inclusive Classrooms. [Workshop] 2023 American Occupational Therapy Association National Conference, Kansas City, KS.  


Banks, T. M. (2023, January 7). Doing, Being, Becoming and Belonging in Pediatric Care. [Presentation] 2023 5th Annual International Conference of the Occupational Therapy Association of Morocco, Tangier, Morocco. 


Banks, T. M. (2022, November 11-12). Using Equity and Inclusion to support the recruitment and persistence of marginalized students in OT Education. [Workshop] 2022 American Occupational Therapy Association Education Summit, Orlando, FL. 


Banks, T. M. (2022, October 20-22). Leaving minoritized students behind: Equity and inclusion as essential to facilitate belonging. [Poster Presentation] SSO: USA 2022 Annual Research Conference, San Diego, CA.  


Banks, T. M. (2022, April 1). Leading the Occupational Therapy Profession Towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Let’s talk Academia. [Poster Presentation] 2022 American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, San Antonio, TX. 


Banks, T. M. (2022, March 31). Leading the Occupational Therapy Profession Towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Let’s talk Academia. [Workshop] 2022 American Occupational Therapy Association National Conference, San Antonio, TX. 


Ammon, A., Banks, T. M., Sutton, G., Panelists. (2020, July 16). “Be Heard – We’re Listening” Session on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for OT Practitioners. American Occupational Therapy Association, Zoom. 


Banks, T. M., Workshop Facilitator. (2020, July 22-24) PS 38Q Anti-Bias Training, NYC Department of Education-PS38Q, Rosedale, NY. 


Banks, T. M., (2020, March 20).  Building a Community: Increasing Participation with Equity and Inclusion in Mind, Network for Youth Success Annual Conference, Troy, NY, (accepted & canceled due to Covid-19). 


Barclay, T., Banks, T. M., Kim, G., & Geller, D. (2001). Wise and Healthy Options [Poster Presentation], 2001American Occupational Therapy Association National Conference, Philadelphia, PA 


Established in 2014 by Dr. Tyra M. Banks, PRYSMS is an organization driven by progressive ideas, bold actions, and a strong foundation of support. Our organization emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the community, and a desire for actions to speak louder than words. Dealing with the educational challenges facing students of racialized groups today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. Contact us to learn more and get involved.

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PRYSMS Aces is a program designed to prepare students to have full access to college by providing support through the College Application process.  Every Spring, we select deserving 11th-grade students intending to pursue a course of study at either a two-year or four-year educational institution.

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"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X

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