On October 29, 2021, the APA Council of Representatives passed three resolutions which include acknowledging and apologizing for APA’s role in promoting and perpetuating racism and racial discrimination in the U.S.; the role of psychology and APA in dismantling systemic racism in the U.S.; and advancing health equity in psychology.

APA’s apology to people of color in the U.S.

APA failed in its role leading the discipline of psychology, was complicit in contributing to systemic inequities, and hurt many through racism, racial discrimination, and denigration of people of color, thereby falling short on its mission to benefit society and improve lives. APA is profoundly sorry, accepts responsibility for, and owns the actions and inactions of APA itself, the discipline of psychology, and individual psychologists who stood as leaders for the organization and field.

Read APA’s full apology

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the process, initial steps taken, and our long-term effort to combat racism.

Initial actions

APA acknowledges this apology must be accompanied by concrete actions to ensure reconciliation, repair, and renewal. We know too well that history can repeat itself, that the past informs the present, and that many harms will continue to be perpetuated absent purposeful intervention.

In addition to offering an apology, APA put structure into the work to come in the related resolutions:

APA’s Council of Representatives is directing APA’s CEO to develop a long-term plan to prioritize, operationalize, and ensure accountability for achieving the goals identified in the resolutions to be presented to Council by its meeting in August 2022.

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APA Council of Representatives resolutions

Background material

Historical chronology

Examining psychology’s contributions to the belief in racial hierarchy and perpetuation of inequality for people of color in U.S.

Listening sessions: Executive summary

Findings from listening sessions on Addressing APA’s Contribution to Racial Hierarchy and Inequality for Communities of Color in U.S.

 

Resources

Harnessing Psychology to Combat Racism (PDF, 97KB)

Psychologists should consider levels of racism in designing and implementing antiracist research, education, training, policy, and clinical applications through the lens of intersectionality.

Racism, bias, and discrimination resources

A collection of APA web pages and other websites about the psychological impacts of racism, bias, and discrimination.

A Framework for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (PDF, 520KB)

The EDI framework defines and conceptualizes equity, diversity, and inclusion for APA. It provides an intentional and systemic approach to infusing EDI into our work.

Inclusive Language Guidelines

These guidelines aim to raise awareness, guide learning, and support the use of culturally sensitive terms and phrases that center the voices and perspectives of those who are often marginalized or stereotyped.

APA Divisions

Last updated: November 2021Date created: October 2021