Statement from the American Psychosomatic Society Leadership
The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery in the first five months of this year, and countless other citizens, based on the social construction of a superior race or indigenous ancestry, since this country’s founding, is unconscionable. The continued dehumanization of American citizens and those who immigrate to the United States for our promise of political, economic, or religious freedom, devalues each of us.
Since 1942, the mission of the American Psychosomatic Society (APS) has been to integrate the mind, brain, body, and social context to advance well-being and health, and prevent and treat disease. In the 21st century, we find our mission more critical than ever. We know that racism contributes to disparities in quality of life, healthspan, and life expectancy. It is our duty as human beings and citizens of this world, and our responsibility as APS members, to stand against racism.
Academia, medicine, and professional societies are not immune to benefitting from and contributing to systemic, structural, institutional, and everyday racism and discrimination. We at APS recognize all forms of racism and discrimination as fundamental contributors to health inequities and disparities in this country. We acknowledge and commit to doing the uncomfortable and challenging work of building bodies of knowledge that can be used to dismantle the systems that perpetuate moral and social injustices that lead to poor health outcomes. Remaining silent is to be in complicit support of those systems. We chose to speak with conviction and act with an unyielding commitment to equality, justice, respect, and inclusion. We acknowledge that establishing anti-racism as a universally accepted social norm requires grit, persistence, passion, and grace-guided visions of a future in which all are created and treated as equals.
The long-standing inequities, injustices, pain, and suffering that generations have lived with for hundreds of years due to systemic, structural, institutional, and everyday racism and discrimination must end. Our society will NOT bear witness silently to the continued dehumanization, oppression, and systemic annihilation of castes that were colonized, enslaved, and intentionally rendered as other, as inferior, as less than.
We call on you, valued members of APS, to stand with us as we draw inspiration from the positive worldwide peaceful protests and other acts of solidarity in response to the recent killings, to work toward a truly just nation. Stand together with us against racism in any form and in any land.
The American Psychosomatic Society Council