In recent days, people around the U.S. and world have spoken out against police brutality and the racism embedded within our systems, institutions, and communities. Div. 44 (The Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) is committed to joining in this struggle, naming and denouncing racism and white supremacy within and outside of our organization. We condemn the brutal and senseless murders of George Floyd, McKinsley Lincoln, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, and Ahmaud Arbery, among others, which reflect a broader systematic devaluation of Black lives in U.S. society. We stand in solidarity with Black communities across the country who seek justice, equity, and safety.
We are proud that our division family includes many people who develop and apply psychological science to identify and eliminate health disparities and unequal treatment, and clinicians who understand the direct impact systemic violence has on mental well-being; these represent our core commitments as an organization to supporting and disseminating psychological science and best clinical practices in order to address social needs. Although the sexual and gender minority community has long combatted structural oppression and relied on the power of protest, we recognize that there are unique challenges toward liberation that the Black community experiences. These challenges are rooted in the history of slavery and other forms of white supremacy in our society and continue in the current day in both subtle and overt ways. Engagement in dismantling racism and white supremacy may look different for different people, but visibility and activism are important for all of us in the sexual and gender minority community. We encourage our Div. 44 community of students, educators, researchers, and clinicians to get involved in social transformation—and we particularly call on our white colleagues to show up and be allies and partners in solidarity with people of color in our communities. Whether you participate at a protest, donate to a cause, call out racist oppression when you see it, or use your spheres of influence to amplify the voices of people of color, it is essential to be involved.
The Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity is committed to spending time and allocating resources to address issues of racism, white supremacy, and injustice. These efforts include our Task Force on Racism, work of the standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CoRED), the presence of the Leadership Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Workgroup, establishing the role of a diversity consultant for the Executive Board, facilitating Executive Board discussions and trainings related to topics of racism, and an upcoming series our board will participate in to examine the effects of white supremacy on our operations and leadership. It is our hope that these current and future efforts will serve to deepen or commitment to social justice and help move our organization further toward walking the walk, in addition to talking the talk. We also welcome any feedback and ideas that members would like to contribute.
The road toward equity and justice is long and winding and we acknowledge that there are many people who feel tired, depleted, scared, and unsafe—including the Black sexual and gender minority members of our organization. We honor the work that has been done and will continue to be done in the future. To the Black members of our division and APA as a whole, we see you and stand in solidarity with you. We are fully committed to working to increase racial justice and equity within our division, APA, and beyond.
Div. 44 Executive Committee