Friday, August 24, 2018
Dear APA and OEMA,
We, the Executive Committee of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), are writing in response to the recently released first web video titled “Racism in American” in a series on Race and Health (http://www.apa.org/education/
undergrad/diversity/default. aspx). It has come to our attention that there is a glaring omission of Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences of racism in the video. We are thankful that Dr. Jude Bergkamp, an AAPA member, was included in the video. However, AAPI experiences of racism were not explicitly discussed in this video, leaving us with images but remaining “voiceless.”
It is our understanding that APA requested feedback from AAPA members and had previously received critiques of the missing AAPI experiences and experts. Recommendations were made, yet unheeded, to include additional images and voices that reflected AAPI experiences of racism, including the targeting of Sikhs, deportation of Asian Americans, killing of Vincent Chin, exploitation of labor, and examples of hate crimes. We are especially disappointed to hear that APA received this feedback prior to the video’s release. However, it appears as though the feedback was not implemented.
We believe that the omission of Asian American experiences from this first video is fixable and request that APA and OEMA follow through with remedying this situation. Tiffany Townsend has been tireless and gracious in describing the process that led to the introductory video, we understand the information that has been provided about the process that led to the invisibility of our members and their experience, we respectfully request that APA acknowledge its omission and correct this error. We understand that Asian American psychologists and experiences will be included in subsequent videos. However, the omission of these experiences from this first video perpetuates the invisibility of AAPIs as a racialized group that experiences racism and the misnomer that AAPIs are “honorary whites” and perpetuates the “model minority” myth instead of recognizing us as a compilation of ethnic communities of color.
AAPA recognizes and applauds the value of this video effort. We do intend to share this resource with our membership but would be remiss in doing so without addressing the hurtful invisibility of AAPI experiences. As a group we have already endured decades of being “othered” or nonexistent in psychology research and efforts. Our community’s representation is especially important, particularly as South Asian, refugee, and undocumented AAPI’s are particularly targeted in the current political climate.
We remain committed to ongoing dialogue and constructive shared efforts.
Asian American Psychological Association
DACA Repeal Is Harmful for Immigrant Mental Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2017
Contact: Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.,
President, Asian American Psychological Association
NEW YORK: The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) strongly condemns the repeal of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. With this recent decision, 800,000 DREAMers, who arrived to the U.S. as children, will no longer be protected under federal law and may be deported after 6 months. It is estimated that 16,000 young Asian Americans are currently DACA recipients, and that only about a quarter of eligible Korean (24%), Filipino (26%), and Asian Indians (28%) even applied for the program in the first two years. Thus, there are thousands of other undocumented Asian Americans who could have benefitted from this program.
AAPA recognizes that Asian Americans have experienced many discriminatory immigration laws throughout history- including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (which was the first ban of immigrants from any country and had permanently prevented all Chinese people from entering the US); the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 (which limited the number of immigrants to 2% of the total number of people from that country already in the US); the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 (which set a quota of 50 Filipinos per year); and the Luce–Celler Act of 1946 (which set an annual quota of 100 for Asian Indians and Filipinos). Due to anti-Asian sentiment, the Filipino Repatriation Act of 1935 provided government funding for transportation to Filipino who promised to never return to the US. However, the majority stayed because they wanted the chance to fulfill their American dreams, and the Supreme Court found the legislation to be unconstitutional.
While the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 put an end to immigration quotas, we must remember the history of immigration for Asian Americans – in order to contextualize, and empathize with, DACA recipients and other DREAMers today. Like these earlier immigrants from Asia and other countries who came without documentation, DREAMers merely want the opportunity to thrive in the land of opportunity. DACA recipients are teachers, attorneys, community organizers, health care workers, students, and more. They came to this country as children; they are just as American as those who are born in the US. While there is no logical reason to repeal this program, there are dozens of reasons of why it would be bad for our country – economic loss, dismantled families, mental health consequences for all involved, and more. These Americans should not be criminalized. They did nothing wrong. They cannot be “sent home”; the US is their home.
AAPA calls on our U.S. Congress to stop the repeal of DACA, as it threatens the mental health of undocumented families and of all immigrants in general. In his recent essay, Dr. E.J. David, an Associate Professor at the University of Alaska describes the detrimental impact of discrimination on the mental health of immigrants. He urges: “The U.S. Congress has the power to relieve at least 800,000 people and their families the burden of carrying unnecessary stress. Our elected representatives have the power to stop the stress and its many negative consequences. They have the power to stop the oppression.”
Finally to all DREAMers and other undocumented Americans, AAPA pledges to support you; stand with you; and fight with you. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently stated, “No one is free until we are all free.”
The mission of the Asian American Psychological Association is to advance the mental health and well-being of Asian American communities through research, professional practice, education, and policy.
AAPA Statement Against Racial Violence and Hatred
The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) condemns the racism, domestic terrorism and hatred perpetrated by White supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in recent weeks, particularly in Charlottesville, Virginia. We extend our condolences to the family of Heather Heyer, the state troopers who were killed, and the injured peaceful protesters during this assault.
In 2017, it is a mistake to believe our nation is immune to racial attack. As Asian Americans, we recognize the legacy of White supremacy and racism in the United States which continues to affect and traumatize communities of color. To imply that those who fight racism and those who perpetrate it have similar intentions is to demean the suffering and courageous acts of our predecessors, many of whom gave their lives in a fight against intolerance. For these reasons, we join the Association for Black Psychologists (ABPsi), the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Council on Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), and many other organizations in unequivocally rejecting the hateful acts of these groups and call on others to do the same.
We denounce all forms of racism and bigotry – from the increased number of hate crimes in recent months to the microaggressions that people of color face in their daily lives. Since its inception, AAPA has understood the damaging effects of racism, discrimination, and race-based trauma, which often lead to significant consequences for mental health, physical health, and one’s ability to thrive. As Asian Americans, we share in the fear, mourning, and outrage that our communities are experiencing in the face of prejudice and oppression. We stand in solidarity with communities who have been targeted most by this hate – particularly Black, Jewish, Latinx, Muslim, Sikhs, and LGBTQ people.
AAPA recommits to our members, and to those affected, that we will actively stand with you in these moments. We will continue to protect the rights of disenfranchised communities as they fight for social justice, equity and healing. We are with you.
Asian American Psychological Association
Family Care, Community Care and Self Care Toolkit: Healing in the Face of Cultural Trauma
Racial Trauma Black Lives Matter Meditation http://drcandicenicole.com/2016/07/black-lives-matter-meditation/
Charlottesville Solidarity Events by U.S. Region
RYSE Presents: Revealing White Privilege and Racial Trauma
People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project
* This statement was written by Alexandra Rivera, Devika Srivastava, Jennifer Hsia, Fanny Ng, Helen Hsu, Richelle Concepcion, Kevin Nadal, and the AAPA Policy Committee
AAPA OPEN LETTER & CALL TO ACTION
Initial Release Date for Membership Commentary: July 14, 2016
Final Release Date to the Public: October 4, 2016
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, Terrence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, and Alfred Olango, and Dallas Police Officers, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa, have amplified the violence and turmoil in the U.S. at this time. As leaders in the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), we ourselves are grieving and experiencing the range of emotions – intense sadness and loss, fear and helplessness, anger and frustration. We are at a critical crossroads as a community. We must raise our collective voice and resist the temptation to remain silent. We must stand and act in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters, including our own family members who identify as Black and Asian. We reaffirm our commitment to #BlackLivesMatter, as echoed in our January 2015 statement on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Importantly, we seek to move beyond statements and call for action as #API4BlackLives.
We must now come together professionally to stand with our African American and Black brothers and sisters.
As professionals and students in the field of Psychology and Mental Health, we are in a unique position to contribute to the efforts of combating anti-Blackness and responding to the deadly consequences of racism in this country. Many of us have access to opportunities to impact change at multiple levels. We ask that you reflect individually and collectively with your own networks to assess what skills, experience, and wisdom you hold that may serve to actively resist the system of racial oppression that continues to devalue Black and Brown lives. We honor that these actions, however small, involve taking risks and shoring up the courage to enact change. It is within AAPA’s mission and our ethical duty to help individuals and communities heal from these ongoing and historical traumas, as well as to work towards education and prevention of these toxic societal environments.
The AAPA Executive Committee has compiled a list of actions and resources that we, as Asian American/ Pacific Islander psychologists, allied professionals, and students can engage in. This list is organized by various contexts in which you may intervene – as individuals, within our families, in academic & educational settings, in clinical & therapy settings, and through other systems.
- Take action: Small actions add up and contribute to resisting despair. Share information, attend rallies or vigils, speak up, and be in community with other folks.
- Check in with your Black loved ones and offer support however they may need.
- Understand your own biases by taking an implicit bias test. Dialogue about your results with someone you care about and can encourage you to challenge these biases: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
- #StayWoke (www.staywoke.org) surveys your strengths and interests to connect you with activism opportunities (approx. 5 minutes).
- Continue educating yourself on the issues. Some resources include:
- Campaign Zero (http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision) collects data to recommend policy solutions regarding issues affecting violence by police directed toward Black and Brown people.
- An open-source, working document, “Resources for non-Black Asians on Anti-Blackness”: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I1BUMrKPUaERiph_3Arq8_MqQ2SDqdpF7mxQXt3_DTs/mobilebasic?pli=1
- Own your privilege by participating in the #IOwnMyPrivilege social media campaign
- Practice self-care! As we take care of our community, it is essential to take care of ourselves and acknowledge the physical, emotional, and spiritual toll anti-racism work takes. Suggestions include taking time away from social media, exercising, seeking personal therapy or support circles, meditation, and other religious and spiritual practices. Here is a guide for creating a self-care plan in the aftermath of racial trauma, noting that #racialtraumaisreal: http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/lsoe_sites/isprc/pdf/racialtraumaisreal.pdf
- Additional action ideas: https://issuu.com/nlc.sf.2014/docs/beyondthestreets_final/1
- Talk to your family members of all generations about why #BlackLivesMatter. This is one open-source example created by several AAPI leaders (other languages also available) to help start this conversation with family: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jJwrgAk923hTSHVNkqPo610FMBNrecWz04NCK55VMJ4/preview
- Translate information. Be reminded that much of our AAPI community would benefit from discussions and information communicated in their respective ethnic language. Consider the use of language, metaphors, and personal experience to share a challenging perspective.
- Consider historical race-based trauma within your family. Be mindful that our immigrant and refugee community may be triggered by the constant violence and brutality in the media.
- Stress the interconnectedness of AAPI and Black experiences with racism. Check in with folks and help them to understand that a system that does not respect Black lives will not respect Asian and Pacific Islander lives.
- Engage in a conversation with children about racial injustice, and provide a safe space for them to ask questions and talk about their feelings. One helpful website is called Raising Race-Conscious Children (http://www.raceconscious.org/). You can also find other articles here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I1BUMrKPUaERiph_3Arq8_MqQ2SDqdpF7mxQXt3_DTs/mobilebasic?pli=1#h.2m3b6zf7wxph
Academic & Educational Settings
- How to Discuss Blackness and racism in academia: (https://www.facebook.com/notes/ellie-ade-kur/how-to-support-blacademics-for-non-black-faculty-and-grad-students-teaching-blac/10154178914344471)
- How to Discuss Blackness and racism in K-12 settings: (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/07/11/teaching-about-race-racism-and-police-violence-resources-for-educators-and-parents/?postshare=9881468327255810&tid=ss_fb)
- Address anti-Blackness and its relationship to AAPI history and mental health experiences. Particularly if you’re teaching a course in AAPI Psychology/Mental Health, assess how you are teaching about AAPI race-related stress and acculturative stress. Are there ways you can better introduce these topics as being inherently connected to the racism that other communities experience, and specifically Black communities in the US?
- Address anti-Blackness and its relationship in particular to the Model Minority Myth. Particularly, if you’re teaching a course in AAPI Psychology/Mental Health, assess how you are discussing the Model Minority Myth in particular. Discuss with your students how the Model Minority Myth has been used to separate Black and AAPI communities. Claire Jean Kim’s (1999) Racial Triangulation Theory is one work that articulates this phenomenon: https://www.scribd.com/doc/217604787/KIM-CLaire-Jean-Racial-Triangulation-of-Asian-Americans
- Use your training as consumer and/or producer of research to highlight critical research studies and also offer clarification when you come across inappropriate or faulty interpretation of research findings/statistics.
- Fuel your passion and find opportunities. As an educator or academic, find ways to allow these challenging emotions to fuel your work.
Clinical & Therapy Settings
- Invite your clients to discuss recent issues. If you are feeling fearful or uncertain, seek consultation or supervision. Here are two articles to consider
- Talking about race in trauma psycotherapy: http://societyforpsychotherapy.org/talking-about-race-in-trauma-psychotherapy/
- Addressing clients’ prejudices in counseling: http://ct.counseling.org/2014/01/addressing-clients-prejudices-in-counseling
- Be mindful of ways that you may commit racial microaggressions in therapy settings: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culturally-speaking/201308/how-well-meaning-therapists-commit-racism
- Foster dialogue with other clinical staff. If you work in a clinical setting with other clinicians (e.g., hospitals, university counseling centers, community mental health clinics), assess how well you are providing support for Black/African American communities as an institution, especially with regard to ongoing police brutality trauma.
- Broach subjects of police brutality and related anti-Blackness in supervision. If you provide clinical supervision for other clinicians/trainees, clarify that these topics are relevant and appropriate topics for the therapy space and for supervision. Model and engage in active dialogue with your supervisees, showing how to broach and explore their own affective experiences while discussing race, White supremacy, and anti-Blackness. Support them in being able to foster these conversations with their clients.
Psychology/Mental Health Partnerships with other Systems
- Work with police departments as psychology experts:
- Inquire if your local police department has required trainings or continuing education opportunities regarding racism or social justice. If anything, find out if they have trainings on mental health issues; if you provide trainings about mental health issues, you can integrate issues related to racism and social justice in your work.
- Inquire if your police departments have a Community Affairs Bureau or Community Advisory Board. If they do, join it. If they don’t, find out how to create one.
- Go beyond working to educate White folks.
- Consider serving as a commissioner if your hometown has a Human Relations Commission. You can also offer to speak at a commission meeting on public record about the importance of police-community dialogues and supporting safety for POC.
- Request that your Mayor or City Council address concerns about safety and trauma in your community.
- Find other ways that fit your professional skills to center Blackness and work to support the Black community.
We hope that these resources serve as a starting point for further exchange of support and collaboration among our members to promote #API4BlackLives.
AAPA Executive Committee