Dear ACPA Community,
As you all know, the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and many others at the hands of police, have galvanized the world and amplified calls for police reform and defunding, and for attention to structural racism as it affects our public and private institutions. As we grieve these tragic losses, we reflect, with sadness and outrage, upon ongoing state-sponsored trauma and oppression in many communities. We are deeply impacted by these infuriating events, each in our own way. We recognize that there are differences in how each of us are impacted based upon our various environmental and cultural contexts, as well as those of our communities.
Alameda County has a long and proud history of Black independence, and a strong tradition of solidarity in resistance to racism. We acknowledge that, in recent years, gentrification and immense increases in inequality have sometimes made this history nearly invisible, and have led to further oppression and marginalization of working class and poor communities, especially communities of color. Nevertheless, the effort to seek justice and maintain dignity continues.
The executive board of the Alameda County Psychological Association stands in solidarity with all those who are working to build more socially-just, anti-racist spaces and a more socially-just, anti-racist society. We unequivocally condemn all expressions of racism, discrimination, and police brutality. We acknowledge that Black Americans are routinely robbed of the opportunity to receive equal justice. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We know that Black Lives are intersectional, and the issues of police violence and racism impact Black women, members of the Black LGBT community, Black people with disabilities, Black community members who are unhoused, and other vulnerable identities.
As members of the board, members of the organization, and professionals/students, we strive to act in concert with the APA principles of Beneficence & Non-Maleficence, Fidelity & Responsibility, and Justice. It is essential that we utilize our positions within society to advocate for the psychological well-being of the people and the communities that we serve and to speak out against injustice and violence. There are numerous ways in which we all can do this work, and we encourage each of you to take action.
For those of you who are educators and/or supervisors, there are many educational resources that have already been created to discuss racism, policing, and protesting that are listed here.
In regards to clinical work with Black clients, Elizabeth McCorvey, LCSW has released some guidance about how to bring up these issues here. And there are a lot of great resources that Black clients could utilize, listed here.
As an organization, we will reflect and take time for discernment, choosing relevant actions we can take jointly to further support justice, an anti-racist stance, and the continuation of Alameda County’s legacy of efforts of resistance to unjust laws and unjust actions. We vow to use our positions as educators, clinicians, and students to support and advocate for clients and students from Black communities and all other underserved and underrepresented communities. We also welcome suggestions from the membership about how we can respond to these issues and better-serve our membership and our community. If you would like to make a suggestion, please email ACPA President Eric Samuels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2020 Executive Board of the Alameda County Psychological Association
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
Guide to Talking to Clients about Recent Deaths & Racial Trauma
APA President Statement on Racism Pandemic
Obama Foundation - Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence
Black Lives Matter
Color of Change
APA’s Race and Ethnicity Guidelines
Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality
FamilyCare, CommunityCare and SelfCare Tool Kit: Healing in the Face of Cultural Trauma
Human Rights Campaign
Black Men Smile
SA Today's list of books about racism for adults and children