A Statement of Solidarity from the Board of Trustees

Statements & Positions,
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. 
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  
-Martin Luther King Jr.

The anti-Black racism that has shown itself in the murders of countless individuals, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and David McAtee, is an atrocity that is woven into the fabric of the United States. These atrocities have always existed for the entirety of its history. The difference now is that some of these examples are being immortalized with hashtags and videos. 
The SPA Board of Trustees stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and in support of those who are exercising their civic duty to highlight the injustices that exist within our society. The systematic elevation or subjugation of a group of people due to any identity, especially the color of one’s skin, is something that SPA strongly denounces. We strive to "recognize and understand historical and contemporary experiences with power, privilege, and oppression" (APA, 2017, p. 4) with an intersectional lens, and we remain committed to creating spaces and opportunities for those who wish to eradicate the racism pandemic that APA President Sandra L. Shullman, PhD, spoke to last week. Because personality assessment practitioners and scholars are uniquely qualified to understand the comprehensive, contextual understanding of an individual, we as a Society are well-versed to discuss the nuances that manifest in these micro and macro issues of oppression.
As part of our new Executive Director’s onboarding activities, Nathan Victoria has reached out to many of our Society’s leaders and members, listening to stories of, for example, the welcoming community SPA creates at its convention. However, sometimes in the same conversation he heard stories of how individuals who may hold less societal power, e.g., people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, graduate students, early-career psychologists, etc., experience SPA differently. The SPA Board of Trustees would like us to gather and identify systemic changes we can make to mitigate these differences. Shortly, Nathan will be putting out a call to our membership to join in a town hall conversation about how to make SPA more inclusive. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reply to this email, or contact SPA President, John McNulty, PhD, john-mcnulty@utulsa.edu or Nathan Victoria, CAE, nvictoria@spaonline.org.
Be safe and be well.
The SPA Board of Trustees
American Psychological Association. 2017. Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/policy/multicultural-guidelines.pdf