Behind the Scenes of APA’s Historic Apology for Contributing to Systemic Racism
It remains devoted to moving important conversations forward
The American Psychological Association's (APA) groundbreaking apology for the field’s contribution to systemic racism had been the subject of discussion inside the organization for years—but then, with a series of decisive leadership moves, it turned into action.
It was a relatively quick public step for an organization of APA’s size and complexity (about 121,000 members). Work involving an honest assessment of the association’s past harmful conduct, and determining how to correct it, could have taken years. Instead, it was finished in six months, culminating in the adoption of a resolution by the APA Council of Representatives in October 2021.
“In general, this was very long overdue,” said APA Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Maysa Akbar. “While APA has devoted a lot of effort into building out their equity, diversity, and inclusion work since the ’60s, what we’ve seen is that the work was largely uncoordinated.”
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