June 2020

LACPA Statement on Racism, the Death of George Floyd, and Our Commitments Moving Forward

As the voice of psychology for Los Angeles County, the LACPA Board of Directors stands with African American communities against racism, police violence, injustice, and oppression. For far too long institutional racism has continued to plague our nation and has resulted in horrific acts with a host of mental health consequences, most recently highlighted by the tragic death of George Floyd. As professionals dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing and health of our communities, it is incumbent upon us to voice our concerns and take action. We stand with the APA, CPA, and other psychological associations in vehement opposition to racism and all other forms of hatred, bigotry, and discrimination. We also stand in unwavering support of those brave enough to peacefully assemble, demonstrate, and use their voices to express one simple message—black lives matter.

We also know that vocal support for these issues is not enough. We must act! Our profession is called upon to actively support those persons and communities that have been most affected by the legacy of oppression. As an organization with more than 1,100 members, we urge our community of psychologists to stand with us and act. To that end, the LACPA Board makes the following commitments: 

  1. The LACPA Board will observe eight minutes forty-six seconds of silence at the beginning of the June 18th, 2020 Board meeting. All LACPA members are invited;

  2. LACPA will support and participate in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office’s restorative justice initiative aimed at facilitating healing through dialogue between protesters, city employees, law enforcement, and other groups. LACPA will recruit psychotherapists to attend and help facilitate healing circles between these groups and provide resources for attendees;

  3. Our Continuing Education Committee will host events designed to educate psychotherapists about racial trauma, including the intergenerational transmission of traumatic experiences. We will provide educational opportunities to enhance the professional community’s ability to work with victims of racism and trauma, and to facilitate healing and empowerment;

  4. Our Continuing Education Committee will also host events designed to educate psychotherapists about power dynamics in psychotherapy and the invisibility of one’s own privilege and power. We will provide trainings to address the impact of these factors on therapeutic work and identify strategies for mitigating them;

  5. The Community Outreach Committee will work to provide recommendations and training specifically addressing de-escalation techniques for the Los Angeles Police Department and the LA County Sheriff’s Department;

  6. Our Diversity Committee will continue its dedicated work to educate psychotherapists about the importance of creating a safe space in which to explore and discuss issues of power, privilege, and racism within the context of psychotherapy and amongst psychotherapists themselves. We will also continue to provide events that regularly weave in-depth thoughts, conversations, and clinical considerations about diverse cultures and subcultures;

  7. Our Community Outreach Committee will identify opportunities to collaborate with community leaders and organizations to provide resources, psychological knowledge, and culturally informed mental health treatment options to vulnerable populations in Los Angeles County;

  8. Our Local Advocacy Network will continue to lobby for and support legislation that facilitates delivery of healthcare services to marginalized and historically oppressed communities;

  9. Our Arts, Creativity, and Culture Committee will continue to harness the power of arts created by clinicians to educate, inspire, and promote reflection and dialogue about power, privilege, racism, protest, and social justice. Throughout history the arts have had a unique and powerful role in social change by bringing our attention to suffering and giving us hope. We believe in the liberating power of the arts to promote empathy, be a catalyst for social healing, and provide us a greater sense of interconnectedness;

  10. The LACPA Board will collaborate with the LACPA Foundation to identify and partner with non-profit organizations providing mental healthcare services in marginalized communities, offering scholarships and financial donations to support their efforts; and

  11. The LACPA Board will explore strategies for further fostering diversity and inclusivity among LACPA’s leadership and general membership.

Sincerely and with ongoing commitment to our Angeleno community, 

The Board Members of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association