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PPA Statement on George Floyd and Other Recent Killings

PPA Statement on George Floyd and Other Recent Killings

We as a community of psychologists grieve the losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the innumerable other Black men, women, and children who have been violently killed in what APA President Dr. Sandra Shullman referred to today as a “racism pandemic” (https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/05/racism-pandemic). We are members of a profession whose commitment to justice, diversity, and the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals is enshrined in our Ethics Code. We are well aware of the tremendous physical and psychological tolls that acts of racism, ranging from microaggressions to overt physical violence, can take on those who experience it, including many members of our own professional community. We stand in solidarity and empathy with all those impacted by these acts and those who live with ongoing threats of violence.

As psychologists who are committed to evidence-based practice and advocacy, we can help in times such as these not only by providing clinical services to those affected, but also by advocating for the use of psychological science to inform local, state, and national policies and practices. Our knowledge and expertise in the following areas can inform this work:

  • The impact of stereotypes and implicit biases on decision-making and behavior
  • The economic, legal, and physical and mental health disparities linked to racism
  • Individual and collective experiences of trauma in diverse populations
  • Evidence-based strategies for the treatment of trauma and chronic stress
  • The use of psychological science to inform law enforcement training, community policing, and other initiatives to enhance law enforcement-community relationships

The following APA resources may be helpful to you in these efforts:

In the weeks to come, PPA will be offering programming and other supports designed to increase psychologists’ capacity to engage in anti-racist work and to be more effective allies to diverse individuals and communities, as well as asking the membership to vote on changes to the PPA bylaws designed to enhance diversity and inclusion within our organization. More information on these initiatives will be provided to you soon. We hope that, in the meantime, you will be able to take care of your own psychological needs as well as those of your clients and that you can continue to draw support from this community.