LCPA Statement on Racial Injustice

Dear Colleagues,

As an organization of psychological professionals dedicated to promoting wellness, emotional resilience, and the equitable and just treatment of all persons and groups, the Lane County Psychologists’ Association stands in solidarity with the efforts to expose and restructure systems that enable racism against Black communities. We unequivocally state that Black lives matter.

This is an issue that goes beyond politics; it is one of morality. All forms of racism and institutionalized oppression are wrong and must be rooted out of our systems and culture. As psychologists, we abide by a code of ethics that aspires to such principles as Justice and Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity. It is our ethical responsibility to acknowledge racial injustice toward Black communities, and to raise public awareness of the profoundly detrimental mental health consequences of systemic racism, intergenerational trauma, and living day to day with a fundamental lack of safety. The psychological difficulties of people from marginalized and oppressed groups often arise not from within, but from outside of the individual.

It is time for those of us who are not Black to commit and recommit to a process of continuous internal examination and learning in order to effectively support Black communities. We are not immune to implicit bias simply because we are psychologists. We all exist within a society whose systems are embedded with racist attitudes and beliefs. When we deny that we are susceptible to their influence, we create blind spots that may have unintentional consequences. Instead, let us acknowledge with humility the limits of our understanding and experience, and take this opportunity to further educate ourselves about the systems that have historically disadvantaged people who are Black so we may better participate in efforts to change them. Please see a list of resources below.

We also want to acknowledge the work that many of you as psychological professionals are already doing to push for change, and to support the people pushing for change. Sometimes we are able to stand shoulder to shoulder on the frontlines; more often the ways in which we contribute happen invisibly, occurring in private spaces where we strive to create a place of safety and hope for people who may struggle to find it in the world. Thank you for your efforts.

We have unique opportunities as psychological professionals to impact systems at all levels, from the individual to the institutional. To this end, LCPA is committing to action and taking steps to not only support Black communities, but to use our influence to promote equity and justice across multiple systems.

  • In 2019, LCPA underwent major structural change with the objective of building an inclusive, welcoming, and diverse organization of professionals who will act for the benefit of our community. We defined four primary purposes dedicated to increasing service to the public interest, advocating for systemic changes in mental health care, building stronger professional connections, and developing continuing education opportunities that prioritize ethical care and cultural competence. We formed four committees to implement each new purpose and to provide greater opportunities for member engagement and investment. Our long term goal is to develop leaders within our organization, and in the community at large.
  • Our Professional Connection Committee is committed to recruiting new LCPA members to increase the diversity of our membership, including more psychological professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, doctoral students, pre-licensed professionals, and university affiliated psychologists who can enrich and broaden the perspectives and efforts of our organization.
  • Our Continuing Education Committee is tasked with developing ethics and cultural competency training for our members, and offering affordable programs to all mental health professionals in the community. Presenters who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color will be invited to provide training on the mental health needs of their respective communities. We affirm the importance of learning from professionals who are not only experts, but also members of historically marginalized and oppressed groups.
  • We formally adopted the LCPA Safe Environment Conduct Policy as a working document which will guide our organization in promoting “inclusivity for all members regardless of gender, size, sexual orientation, indigenous heritage, ethnicity, religion, ability status, age, socioeconomic status and other sources of societal marginalization” and states that “we have an ethical responsibility to maintain multicultural competency and to promote social justice for our clients and community.”
  • Next steps include the development and implementation of a committee dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion that will be tasked with guiding future initiatives and engaging in continuous examination of our organization to ensure we are fulfilling our commitments to inclusivity and equity. In addition, we will be unveiling a new website with a cultural competency resource page which will include works created by authors who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

We hope you will join us in our efforts, through your membership or by attending our future community events. LCPA is committed to providing our members with meaningful ways to act in the benefit of the public, to advocate, to connect, and to learn. We are striving to make our organization a safer and more welcoming space where we take responsibility for our missteps and work together to turn them into opportunities for growth. Our work is imbued with real social power. May we each do our part in hastening the systemic change that is long overdue for Black communities. Black lives matter.

Respectfully,

The LCPA Executive Committee
——————————————-
Melissa Todd, President
Ron Miyaguchi, President-Elect
Brent Horner, Secretary
Ida Moadab, Treasurer

 

Resources:

Racial Injustice and Trauma: How Therapists Can Respond | PESI (free access)
“Please join us for free access to two one-hour panel discussions around the issue of racial injustice and trauma. These important conversations, featuring the perspectives and guidance of several clinicians and thought leaders, will highlight how we can bring issues of race into therapy, and how we can address racial disparities in our field and professional communities.”

Online Community Conversations Calendar | Oregon Department of Justice
“Sessions are intended for participation and input from folks who identify in the specified population.  All are invited to attend, but please reserve input and speaking time for those folks who identify in the specified population.”

Cultural Responsiveness and Cultural Responsibility in Our Work as Psychologists | OPA
June 19, 2020, 9:00-4:00, 6 CE hours, $110 non-members, $90 members, free to students
“This workshop will use multiple approaches to go in-depth regarding how dynamics related to cultural identities of all kinds and their intersections play out in our work as psychologists. Participants will learn about and explore both subtle and not so subtle ways in which we as providers interface with cultural dynamics each day at individual, historical and systemic levels. Updated information around mental health disparities, intersectionality, and the role of and differences between historical, intergenerational and racial trauma will be presented as we explore the potential for dangerous assumptions and missed opportunities in our work as psychologists. Tools for navigating these dimensions will be discussed including expanding our lens of Interpretive Power in psychological science and practice.”

Racial Trauma: Theory, Research and Healing | American Psychologist (open access)
“The articles in this special issue introduce new conceptual approaches, research, and healing models to challenge racial trauma. The authors encourage psychologists to develop culturally informed healing modalities and methodologically sophisticated research and urge the inclusion of public policy interventions in the area of racial trauma.”

APA Action Plan for Addressing Inequality | June 2, 2020

APA Statement on Racism, includes Research and Resources (layperson friendly)

Oregon Psychological Association Statement | June, 2020