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(updated) Open Letter & Call to Action from AAPA EC

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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.

Individual Levels

  • 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:
  • Own your privilege by participating in the #IOwnMyPrivilege social media campaign

 

Family

  • 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

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
  • 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.

 

In Solidarity,

AAPA Executive Committee

 

www.aapaonline.org

Twitter: @AAPAOnline

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aapaonline

Email: contact@aapaonline.org

 

Open Letter & Call to Action from AAPA EC

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AAPA OPEN LETTER & CALL TO ACTION

Initial Release Date: July 14, 2016
Link to Google Document (comments enabled through 8/8/16): https://goo.gl/AqeF1v

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

The recent deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, 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 Black Asian family. 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.

Individual Levels

  • 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:

  • Own your privilege by participating in the #IOwnMyPrivilege social media campaign

 

Family

  • 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

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

  • 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. Through Monday, August 8th, this document will be open for comments, where members can add their ideas for action and resources to this compilation. The list will then be shared again to the general listserv. We also encourage members to consider the suggestions made by colleagues within APA’s Division 17, as well as the empowering words of AAPA Past-President Dr. Derald Wing Sue and his “Open Letter to Brothers and Sisters of Color.” Finally, we invite all members to engage in these topics and support one another at our Annual Convention this coming Wednesday, August 3rd, whose theme, “Beyond ‘Yellow’ Borders: Revealing Our Diverse Community, Expanding Our Coalition Horizon” is timely.

In Solidarity,

AAPA Executive Committee
www.aapaonline.org | contact@aapaonline.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aapaonline<
Twitter: @AAPAOnline

[Download pdf of Open Letter & Call to Action-July 2016]

AAPA Statement on Orlando Shooting

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AAPA Statement on Orlando Shooting

June 14, 2016

AAPA offers our condolences and ongoing support in response to the horrific act of violence in Orlando, Florida this past Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the midst of Pride celebrations among the LGBTQ community. The shootings of innocent people celebrating Latin night at Pulse Nightclub is a tragedy impacting family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and the wider community who have lost their loved ones in a senseless act of violence.

We join in mourning with the many intersected communities impacted by the Orlando shootings, especially our LGBTQ AAPA members and the Division on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQQ) within AAPA. As a community-at-large, we can stand up and take actions in the face of overwhelming tragedy. We will donate what we can, be it blood to be banked or money for victims’ families and organizations that promote peace and support LGBTQ communities.

Importantly, we provide our unwavering support to stay united and protect the human rights of all. We reject hatred in all of its forms and reaffirm our commitment to opposing anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim bigotry. Let us stand together and not allow a single individual’s hateful actions to turn us against our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will continue to celebrate Pride Month, Ramadan, and Immigrant Heritage Month.  We urge each of us to continue to do our part by reaching out to one another, inviting dialogue, reducing stigma, and promoting access to mental health care during these difficult times. We especially urge you to continue your advocacy work and education about issues of violence, discrimination, hatred, oppression, mental illness, extremism, and the impact on all affected communities.

 

Selected Resources for Support and Information:

American Psychological Association – Managing your distress in the wake of mass shooting:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mass-shooting.aspx

American Psychological Association- How to talk to children about difficult news and tragedies:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/talking-to-children.aspx

SAMHSA – Incidents on Mass Violence:

http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/disaster-types/mass-violence

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays:

https://www.pflag.org/

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.

AAPA President, kevin.nadal@aapaonline.org

Download Statement: [AAPA Statement on Orlando Shooting 2016-06-14.pdf]

AAPA Statement on Xenophobia Targeting Scientists

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The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) condemns the recent arrest and school suspension of a Texas 14-year old student, Ahmed Mohamed, for bringing a self-initiated engineering project to school that the school authorities and the local police believed to be a bomb. We are heartened by the chorus of support for Ahmed, and we hope that his ingenuity and interest in the sciences will continue to be encouraged and nurtured despite this incident of egregious injustice.

We believe Ahmed’s case represents a wider climate of fear pervading our nation that disproportionately targets scientists of color and scientists of immigrant origin as possible suspects in espionage and terror. Just recently, Professor Xiaoxing Xi, a former chair of Temple University’s physics department, was arrested and accused of sharing sensitive data with Chinese scientists. In 2014, Sherry Chen, a Chinese American hydrologist at the U.S. National Weather Service, was accused passing on information about American dams to China and lying about meeting with a high-ranking Chinese official. In both cases, Prof. Xi and Ms. Chen – who are both American citizens – were arrested and led away in handcuffs and suffered devastating effects of unjust incarceration. Both scientists were cleared of espionage-related charges and all other charges, yet both incidents clearly jeopardized the work and family lives of the scientists. Despite being cleared of charges, Ms. Chen was dismissed from her government job and Dr. Chen was relieved of his chairmanship at the department. These cases are reminiscent of the wrongful persecution of Dr. Wen Ho Lee, another Chinese American scientist accused of espionage in 1999.

As a national psychology organization committed to promoting the well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we express our concern that scientists and budding scientists of immigrant origin are being targeted unfairly because of their race, ethnicity, and/or religion. There is ample evidence from psychological research that Asian Americans and others of immigrant origins are seen as “foreign” regardless of their citizenship status. These “forever foreigner” stereotypes, when applied to scientists, can have devastating effects not only on the scientists themselves but also on AAPI communities and scientific communities more broadly. Asian American and Pacific Islander Americans are diasporic communities with kinship and cultural ties to Asia and beyond. Scientific progress rests on collaborations within and across borders. And students who dream of future careers in STEM fields must be encouraged rather than criminalized. We call on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the possible ethnic bias in the arrests of multiple scientists of immigrant origins. We call for schools to engage in open dialogue with families and community about their experience with the schools and a transparent and critical review of disciplinary actions against students of color. Finally, we stand with our communities of color to promote greater awareness of the damages that xenophobia and racial stereotypes can inflict on our society.

[AAPA Statement on Xenophobia Targeting Scientists]

Opportunities to discuss the APA Independent Review Report and related issues of Ethics for Psychologists

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Dear AAPA members,

We (the AAPA EC) want to inform you about opportunities to participate in in ongoing dialogues about ethical issues in psychology and the independent review of APA, opportunities both with AAPA and through other venues.  For AAPA, we invite you to attend the Town Hall meeting with representatives of the AAPA EC at the AAPA convention (7:30  to 8:30 am in Northrop Frye Hall).  Other venues for dialogue and commentary to APA and beyond include:

  • the APA/CoR will hold a Town Hall Meeting on the independent Review Report at the APA convention on Saturday, August 8, 3 to 4:30 pm in Convention Centre/Constitution Hall 106 North Building-Level 100
  • APA has an open comments area on their website: http://apa.org/independent-review/index.aspx
  • AAPA Vice President Helen Hsu will be co-presenting a session at the APA convention titled Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations Critique APA Ethics Code-Integrating Culture and Ethics on Saturday, August 8, 2pm-3:50pm. This is a further opportunity for feedback and better understanding the relations of AAPA and the APA ethics office in recent years.
  • Psychologists for Social Responsibility and co-sponsors will be conducting a Town Hall Meeting for discussing the recently-released Hoffman Report 4pm to 8pm Thursday August 6, 2015 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 73 Simcoe St, 8 minutes walk from where the APA annual convention is being held