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.
Frequently asked questions
Find out more about the process, initial steps taken, and our long-term effort to combat racism.
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:
- The Role of Psychology and APA in Dismantling Systemic Racism Against People of Color in the United States resolution delves more deeply into methods by which psychology can be used to help remedy harms in practice, education, criminal justice, training, and other domains.
- The Advancing Health Equity in Psychology resolution takes on the critical issue of racism as related to health equity.
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.
APA Council of Representatives resolutions
- Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race (APA Division 45)
Protecting and Defending our People: Nakni tushka anowa (The Warrior’s Path) Final Report (PDF, 8.64MB)
- Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27)
Antiracism / Antioppression email series
- Society of Counseling Psychology (APA Division 17)
Social justice resources
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (APA Division 14)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Guide for Organizations and Professionals