Amber Stark

APA Council of Representatives Passes 3 Historic Resolutions

At its October 29 meeting, the APA Council of Representatives passed three resolutions acknowledging and apologizing to people of color for APA’s role in promoting and perpetuating racism and racial discrimination in the United States; identifying the role of psychology and APA in dismantling systemic racism in the United States; and advancing health equity in psychology.

SIOP Fellow and APA Council Representative Tammy Allen shared that SIOP members were involved at various stages of this process, helping to write and review specific sections of the resolutions. She added that the resolutions were overwhelmingly supported by Council.

Said SIOP President Steven Rogelberg:

All of us, whether in APA or SIOP, have a responsibility to our colleagues, friends, and family to help expose, understand, and dismantle racism. These resolutions are not just powerful statements about that responsibility; they are promises to do better in the future.

We strive to ensure a safe, inclusive, and professional environment for all SIOP members and those who engage in SIOP activities, and are proud to not only have played a part in the process that led to such important declarations but also to help continue the work that needs to be done to ensure progress in society, and in SIOP itself. We are fully committed to do the hard work, both short and long term, in promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness in all that we do.

The apology, in part, acknowledges that APA “failed in its role leading the discipline of psychology, was complicit in contributing to systemic inequities, and hurt many through racism, racial discrimination, and denigration of communities of color, thereby falling short on its mission to benefit society and improve lives.”

The second resolution identifies psychology’s role in helping to expose, understand, and ultimately dismantle racism operating across all levels in each of the following systems of society—education, science, health care, work and economic opportunities, criminal justice, early childhood development, and government and public policy—while acknowledging that systemic racism has impact beyond these sectors.

The third resolution focuses on advancing health equity in psychology.

“This set of resolutions is historic and will precede a set of actions over years of effort that will be monumental in their impact in our society,” said SIOP Fellow and APA Council Representative Sara Weiner.

The APA is hosting town halls to provide a safe space and open forum for all APA members to react to and ask questions about APA’s apology, the process by which it was created, and how it will prompt action.

APA Member Town Halls 
Thursday, November 4 at 6 p.m. ET (REGISTER HERE
Tuesday, November 9 at 11:30 a.m. ET (REGISTER HERE
Monday, November 15 at noon ET (REGISTER HERE

In addition, the APA offers these resources on racism, bias, and discrimination.

Along with Allen and Weiner, SIOP’s representatives on the APA Council include Jeff McHenry and Gavan O’Shea.

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