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AAPA Press Release: DACA Repeal Is Harmful for Immigrant Mental Health

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DACA Repeal Is Harmful for Immigrant Mental Health

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 6, 2017

Contact: Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.,

President, Asian American Psychological Association

kevin.nadal@aapaonline.org | aapaonline.org

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.

(http://aapaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/AAPA-Statement_DACA-Repeal.pdf)

AAPA Statement Against Racial Violence and Hatred

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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.

In Solidarity,

Asian American Psychological Association

 

Resources

Family Care, Community Care and Self Care Toolkit: Healing in the Face of Cultural Trauma

https://d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net/newshour/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/07-20-16-EEC-Trauma-Response-Community-and-SelfCare-TookKit-1.pdf

Racial Trauma Black Lives Matter Meditation http://drcandicenicole.com/2016/07/black-lives-matter-meditation/

Charlottesville Solidarity Events by U.S. Region

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/stand-in-solidarity-with-charlottesville/

RYSE Presents: Revealing White Privilege and Racial Trauma

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR9ssA1b0yo

People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project

http://diorvargas.com/poc-mental-illness/

 

* This statement was written by Alexandra Rivera, Devika Srivastava, Jennifer Hsia, Fanny Ng, Helen Hsu, Richelle Concepcion, Kevin Nadal, and the AAPA Policy Committee

(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]