Statement on Systemic Racism
At a time when the institutional and systemic racism of our culture has been brought into focus by worldwide condemnation of the callous and brutal murder of Black individuals by the police, the EPA Board of Directors is considering our responsibility as a scientific organization to reduce racism. We are taking an uncomfortable look at ourselves as professionals and EPA as an organization. Although none of us condones the inequalities in education, health care, and justice that are systemic in our country, we recognize that we cannot remain silent about them while fulfilling our mission to present and advance the science of psychology in our annual meetings. We need to acknowledge that the lack of diversity within the leadership of EPA reflects the fact that we have not had an intentional and organized strategy to include and support our colleagues of color. This is unacceptable. Therefore, EPA is developing an action plan that builds upon the science of psychology to address the inequities and racism that we and many others have identified.
Our plan of action includes: 1] a commitment to themes for our next two meetings that specifically address aspects of systemic racism in historical context (2021) and in our educational system (2022); 2] a commitment to recruiting and mentoring members of underrepresented groups into the EPA leadership and conference programming; 3] a commitment to the long-term by establishing concrete, measurable actions to be met annually and that will be shared with our community. This needs to be a long-term commitment as only sustained effort will bring about change. This year for the first time we have some content contributed by the SPARK Society, an organization of cognitive scientists of color, as a part of our meeting. We will work to include more organizations like SPARK. Psychological research has shown all too clearly that bias is a part of everything we do; EPA as a scientific society is committed to finding ways to mitigate that bias within ourselves and the wider world.