APA Issues Apology for Contributing to Systemic Racism and Resolutions to Promote Health Equity

The American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives adopted three historic resolutions on October 29, 2021, that acknowledge the ways in which the APA and the field of psychology have perpetuated systemic racism and convey the APA’s commitment to taking meaningful action to address racism and promote health equity in the future. The resolutions include: 1) Apology to People of Color for APA’s Role in Promoting, Perpetuating, and Failing to Challenge Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Hierarchy in U.S.; 2) Role of Psychology and APA in Dismantling Systemic Racism Against People of Color in U.S.; and 3) Advancing Health Equity in Psychology.

With the adoption of these resolutions, the APA has also delineated strategies to remain accountable and to shift towards transformative action in the coming years to improve health equity in education, workforce development, professional practice, research, and advocacy.

These resolutions were developed by the APA Task Force on Strategies to Eradicate Racism, Discrimination, and Hate and its five-member Apology Advisory Subcommittee, and the Presidential Task Force on Psychology and Health Equity. Under the leadership of APA President Dr. Jennifer Kelly, the Presidential Task Force on Psychology and Health Equity was co-chaired by Dr. Kisha Holden, Professor and Director of Research and Scholarship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine, and Dr. Geoffrey Reed, Professor of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.