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Dear ACPA Community,
As you may know, on Friday August 11th and Saturday August 12th a group of armed and torch wielding white supremacist numbering in the hundreds staged a protest of the removal of a statue honoring defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia. On that Saturday, during the course of a white supremacist demonstration that became violent, a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors killing one woman and injuring 19 other people. Subsequently the President of the United States refused to condemn the whole of this group and instead proposed a false equivalency between terrorist white supremacist organizations and those who would protest them.
This is a statement of solidarity with all those who work to build more socially just spaces and a more socially just society. The executive board of the Alameda County Psychological Association (ACPA) unequivocally condemns white supremacy in all its forms, as it exists throughout our communities and institutions. More specifically we call on our membership to work in order to prevent more incidents like the most recent large scale violent, hateful, racist, and public acts of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, the alt-right, as well as various other individuals and organizations.
We ask that as a community, that we reaffirm our commitment to our specific ethical principles of Beneficence & Non-Maleficence, Fidelity & Responsibility, and Justice. We must work to the benefit of the people and the communities that we serve, working to advocate for their psychological well being. We must take responsibility for the welfare of the people in our communities and use the privileges that we have in order to speak out against injustice and violence. And we must take a firm and grounded stance against any act of white supremacist terrorism and those who support those acts.
This message is a message of ally ship and would be conveyed similarly for terrorist acts against women, LGBT+ communities, people within disabled communities, as well as any other vulnerable and marginalized community. Please join us in our stance against hate and all of its terrible consequences.
The American Psychological Association has many resources available for the media and the public in covering and dealing with the aftermath of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. (via: https://newswise.com/articles/apa-offers-resources-for-dealing-with-racism-aftermath-of-charlottesville-violence )
· RESilience: Uplifting youth through healthy communication about race provides resources to assist parents and others in promoting strength, health and well-being among youth of color.
· Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope makes suggestions for healthy ways to deal with being the target of discrimination.
· Building resilience to manage indirect exposure to terror. The ability to adapt well to unexpected changes and events can help people manage distress and uncertainty. Here are some techniques.
· In addition, APA’s 2015 Stress in America survey found that most American adults reported having experienced discrimination, and that regardless of the cause, experiencing discrimination is associated with higher reported stress and poorer reported health.
· Report highlights: www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2015/highlights.aspx
· Full report: www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2015/impact-of-discrimination.pdf.
Also of interest are several blog posts on race and race-related incidents.
· These events can be particularly difficult for children to process and understand. Below are some resources for talking to kids about racism and violence:
How to talk to children about difficult news offers insights on how to guide these conversations withchildren while making them feel safe.
· Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-charlottesville-talking-to-kids-20170812-htmlstory.html
Talking to kids about discrimination. This document can help parents and other caretakers understand how to broach the topics of discrimination and difference with young children.
· RaceConscious.org: http://www.raceconscious.org/2017/08/charlottesville-means-black-family/
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. Although no shooting occurred during the Charlottesville incident, many of the tips in this document are relevant for helping any child who is distressed by violence.
· WashingtonPost: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/08/13/the-first-thing-teachers-should-do-when-school-starts-is-talk-about-hatred-in-america-heres-help/?utm_term=.3088a01d2854
Selene Fabiano, Ph.D. on behalf of the ACPA Board of Directors