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American Psychological Association Apologizes for Contributions to Systemic Racism

On October 29, 2021, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives ratified an apology for the role the APA and the discipline of psychology played in contributing to systemic racism. In this apology, the APA acknowledges their support of ideas and research practices that perpetuated systemic racism and actively ignored calls for change from even their members. The APA commits to rejecting science used to reinforce white superiority, continue to update practices based on culturally relevant evidence, advocate for increased funding and opportunities for scholars of color, ensure terms referencing communities of color in publications are consistent with inclusive language guidelines, and more.

In addition to the apology, the APA adopted two more resolutions. The first addresses the role of the APA and psychology in dismantling systemic racism going forward. The second resolution charges the CEO of the APA with developing a long-term plan by August 2022 to prioritize and ensure accountability and action toward completing the stated goals.

Recognition of the harm caused by the APA and field of psychology with their commitment to change is a big step forward to reconciliation, repair, and renewal, but there is still much to be done. As the APA Board of Directors states, "The apology and resolutions are just the beginning of the work we must do to eradicate racism and discrimination within our field and build an equitable and diverse discipline."

The links for the apology and two resolutions are listed below.

Apology to People of Color for APA's Role in Promoting, Perpetuating, and Failing to Challenge Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Hierarchy in U.S.: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/racism-apology

Role of Psychology and APA in Dismantling Systemic Racism Against People of Color in U.S.: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/dismantling-systemic-racism

Advancing Health Equity in Psychology: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/advancing-health-equity-psychology