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Society for Health Psychology Statement on Current Events

Statement from SfHP President Zeeshan Butt, PhD

Dear Society for Health Psychology colleagues and friends,

We are saddened and angered by the disproportionate number of COVID-related infections and deaths among communities of color. Against this backdrop, the horrific death of George Floyd has sparked a wave of protests not just in Minneapolis, but across the entire world.

Our Society stands unequivocally against racism and discrimination in any form and in unwavering support for the inalienable human rights of all persons. We support everyone in our community having their voices heard in opposition to the forces of oppression that have existed in the fabric of our society for far too long, targeting Black Americans and other communities of color with systemic injustice. We reaffirm that our strongest values are embedded in inclusivity and believe that our science, our society, and the public good is enriched through nothing less than social and health equity for all.

Of course, many of you are professionally and personally committed to supporting and comforting those communities in most need. There are many resources available for those of you interested in learning how to combat racism and its health impact on our communities. Some starting points include the APA’s landing page on race or participation in the APA Town Hall on the “Racism Pandemic” behind held on Thursday, June 4th The Society also has resources to help you:

(1)   Our Student Council has a compiled a set of resources for historically underrepresented students and its Diversity Committee regularly publishes a blog.

(2)   Our Health Research Council has graduate student awards to promote inclusion and to address health disparities.

(3)   Our Diversity Council has curated a page of readings, presentations, and other relevant resources.

You may also recall that the Society recently appointed our first Diversity and Inclusivity Officer, Tanecia Blue, PhD, ABPP, to help broaden and deepen our Society’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. If you have suggestions for how we can meet that important goal, please contact us.

 

Best wishes,

Zee

(on behalf of the Society for Health Psychology Board of Directors)

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