The Indiana Psychological Association and the Indiana Association of Black Psychologists are committed to justice, equality, diversity, and anti-racism. These commitments are even more important today as the violent acts we have witnessed highlight hatreds and both implicit and explicit biases in our culture. We recognize the countless events of race-related violence and aggression that continue to plague our nation and impact the thoughts, behaviors, feelings, interactions, and reactions of many people. We recognize that the debilitating psychological effects of centuries of racial oppression cannot be underestimated. We, as psychologists and leaders in the mental health field, have a responsibility to end discrimination and intolerance. We are professionals who belong to disciplines that may have been complacent and/or complicit in this psychological pandemic. Thus, we exist to make this correction. Our protest is the collection of voices unheard, the fury of the invisible and the power of the grieving. Our protest is our breath. We support the words of Angela Davis “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist”.
We must listen, respond, and support those treated harshly and unfairly in our communities. The members of IPA and IABPsi pledge to support all actions that will build unity, trust, and respect for all individuals. Psychologists are most well-equipped to define and explain the destructive impact when our society excludes and discriminates against an identified group, specifically Black and Brown, fellow citizens. We must educate ourselves on facts and resist the temptation to blame injustice on those who are the victims. To effectively help Black and Brown people requires that mental health providers understand the various forms of historical trauma contributing cumulatively to the revictimization experienced by survivors.
Our goal is to engage in the implementation of healing strategies that will serve to empower our mind, body and spirit as well as increase our capacity to repair multigenerational psychological damage caused by centuries of oppression. The members of IPA and IABPsi are here to understand and to encourage. We stand ready to offer our support regarding the development and implementation of transformative strategies. We are committed to multicultural competence and diversity. Please know that our members stand tall for what is right. We vehemently oppose hatred and violence for Black and Brown people. We will be a part of the solution to these long-standing problems. We are here to support all members of our communities. We stand with allies of diverse backgrounds to make our country a better union and democracy for all.
We acknowledge that Black and Brown people build communities, serve in the military, work, rear children, go to school, run errands, and save lives the same as any other American - but do so under the oppressive footing of racism, discrimination, invisibility, and hatred. IPA and IABPsi demand to move forward in an anti-racist society.
Hence, we issue the following calls to action:
  1. Attend programming that IPA and IABPsi offer to promote cultural humility and cultural competence.
  2. Participate in advocacy efforts that address mental health concerns.
  3. Command those who want our votes to issue an anti-racist platform.
  4. Call for anti-racist employment standards. Employers must ask the question during the application and interview phase “Do you hold racist views or beliefs”. Racists must know those beliefs are unwelcomed, and they need not apply.
  5. Call for anti-racist healthcare standards. Healthcare professionals should operate from a default that racist policies and practices are in place. Starting with that default position makes it easier to correct the course before too much damage is done.
  6. Call on education systems to adopt anti-racist standards. Education systems must have teachers, professors, leaders, and support staff who mirror the children they teach and serve. We call on all educational systems who are bare of Black and Brown principals, assistant principals, deans, tenured faculty, school boards, directors and superintendents to change this atrocity by creating a timeline for a plan of action with clearly defined expectations.
  7. Call on law enforcement systems to undo their standard police training and retrain “policing” based on the primacy of honoring the humanity of all people, especially Black people. Require police to intervene when they see a fellow officer murdering and harming another human.
Aarika White, PhD, HSPP                            Carrie Dixon, PhD, HSPP
President                                                      President
IPA Board of Directors                                  IABPsi President

Source:  Association for Black Psychologists (ABPsi)