Statement on Racism – International Psychotherapy Institute
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Along with psychoanalytic institutes across the nation and throughout the world, The International Psychotherapy Institute has been shaken from complacency, and is experiencing a reckoning in response to the brutal murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, all of whom were victims of institutionalized white supremacy that for centuries has normalized violence against Black people. We recognize that the conversation on systemic racism is long overdue at IPI, and that our community is only at the beginning in terms of exploring and addressing our own implicit biases and deeply entrenched racism. We also recognize that as a psychoanalytic institute, we have a responsibility and a role to play in examining from within and without the devastating impact of structural, systemic and interpersonal racism. It is not enough to consider how racism affects people of color; we must face the impact that centuries of white supremacy has had on White people, who have inherited and perpetuated, consciously and unconsciously, privileges at the economic, societal, and psychological levels, which are inextricably linked to the oppression of Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
As a dominant social group, White people have used people of color to project split off psychic contents, thereby rationalizing, normalizing, and distancing from unconscionable acts of systemic and individual violence. Avoidance of naming and discussing “whiteness” is a vestige of white supremacy that blinds White people to the myriad ways in which they benefit, comply, and support systemic racism. As Robin D’Angelo writes in White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, “White people get to be ‘just people,’ ” without having their race named, whereas BIPOC are often described by their race. We can no longer claim innocence or ignorance. As a community invested in understanding and healing, we commit to working together to examine this urgent and long-neglected topic, starting with ourselves.
In this watershed moment, IPI stands in solidarity with our Black and Brown sisters and brothers, and pledges the following steps toward creating an anti-racist learning environment. While the urgency of the moment calls for us to focus our attention on anti-Black racism, IPI acknowledges that white supremacy hurts all communities of color, and is committed to examining and inviting much needed dialogue about all forms of racism. It is important to note that while this statement was written as a collaborative effort between Black and White IPI members, these points are especially relevant for White members of the IPI community, and those who benefit from white privilege. IPI recognizes that racism is a problem perpetuated by White people, who must own and dismantle it systemically and from within, in order to interrupt transgenerational transmissions of white supremacy and privilege. It is also important to note that we regard this as a living document that will be subject to revisions as we gather feedback and as we learn together moving forward.
We recognize the suffering, hardships, and deaths of our Black and Brown sisters and brothers are rooted in our desire to maintain privilege, power, and supremacy.
We pledge to examine our biases and processes that maintain the status quo.
We recognize our conscious and unconscious contributions, and our use of defenses, such as denial, avoidance, rationalization, projection, and splitting to maintain racism within our culture and within our institution.
We pledge to examine defenses, at both the individual and institutional levels, that maintain systemic racism, and to explore these defenses, dynamics, and unconscious processes in small, affective, and larger didactic groups.
We recognize that our failures to create a more inclusive, open, and welcoming learning environment that embraces diversity left our Black and Brown brothers and sisters without opportunities, and that without diversity, the vitality and richness of ideas are compromised.
We pledge to create an increasingly diverse institute at all levels within the organization, including the IPI Board of Directors, faculty, speakers, and student body.
We recognize that our failures of empathy and compassion left our Black and Brown sisters and brothers to suffer alone.
We pledge to develop our abilities to identify our failures to create a more diverse community and to listen to the people of color within our institute, when they tell us we failed or how we can do better.
We recognize that our failures to listen left our Black and Brown brothers and sisters without a voice.
We pledge to convey our interest and curiosity about race and diversity by offering a more inclusive focus in our choice of presenters and topics.
We recognize that our acts of aggression left our Black and Brown sisters and brothers unsafe, insecure, and most tragically for some, without life.
We pledge to examine our role in cultural, systemic and interpersonal aggression toward our Black brothers and sisters, especially our participation through silence, denial, projection, splitting, and avoidance.
We recognize that our failures to think about the impact of racism on our Black and Brown brothers and sisters, and of our own whiteness, prevented us from working together to create a more just and equal society, and a more diverse institute.
We pledge to devote our time, resources, and attention to examining racism, white supremacy, and white privilege.
We recognize that our words, however heartfelt and genuine, are empty, if they are not backed by actions, and that without change there can be no healing. We must work “not just to change how things look, but how things are” in the words of Layla F. Saad (2020).
We pledge to engage in quarterly institutional reviews where we will reflect on the progress IPI is making with regard to its pledges of anti-racism, and to update strategies and commitments as necessary.
This evolving statement was developed by the IPI Diversity Committee (Norma Caruso, Andi Eliza-Christie, Linda Hopkins, Patrizia Pallaro (Chair), Chris Thomas, Dio Turner II,) in collaboration with the IPI Board of Directors (Jason Aronson, Robert Bremner, Mary Burke, Andi Eliza-Christie, Richard Zeitner (Chair), IPI Director, Caroline Sehon, and the IPI Faculty Steering Committee.
Resources for Therapists and Analysts
- The Black Psychoanalysts Speak film is streaming for free in July on Youtube
- Whiteness on the Couch by Natasha Stovall
- American Psychoanalytic Association racism resource page
- Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech to APA: The Role of the Behavioral Scientist in the Civil Rights Movement
- APsaA Conversations on Psychoanalysis and Race:
- Conversations on Psychoanalysis and Race: Part One Michael Slevin M.S.W. and Beverly J Stoute M.D.
- African-American Boys and Adolescents under the Shadow of Slavery’s Legacy by Kirkland Vaughans Ph.D.
- Relational Dynamics of Loss, Grief and Fear in Everyday Lives of African-American Women by Annie Lee Jones Ph.D.
- Conversations on Psychoanalysis and Race: Part Two Michael Slevin M.S.W. and Beverly J Stoute M.D.
- Am I the Only Black Kid That Comes Here? Warren Spielberg Ph.D.
- How I Came to Understand White Privilege Michael Moskowitz Ph.D.
- On Racism and Being White: The Journey to Henry’s Restaurant Richard Reichbart
- Conversations on Psychoanalysis and Race: Part Three Michael Slevin M.S.W. and Beverly J Stoute M.D.
- Race and Racism in Psychoanalytic Thought: The Ghosts in Our Nursery Beverly J Stoute M.D.
- From Multicultural Competence to Radical Openness: A Psychoanalytic Engagement of Otherness Anton Hart Ph.D. FABP
- Toward a Psychological Framework of Radical Healing in Communities of Color French, et. al. May 31, 2019
- Institutional Barriers to Diversity Change Work in Higher Education Elliott, et.al. May 23, 2013
Resources for parents raising anti-racist children:
Articles to read:
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- The Atlantic – 163 years of The Atlantic’s writing on race and racism in America
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011)
- The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine
- “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019)
- Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD
- “Where do I donate? Why is the uprising violent? Should I go protest?” by Courtney Martin (June 1, 2020)
- ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
- 5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence | Medium (May 27, 2020)
Videos to watch:
- Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers (50:48)
- Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses ‘White Fragility’ (1:23:30)
- “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” | Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
- A CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA
Podcasts to subscribe to:
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
by Grace Lee Boggs
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- A People’s History of Psychoanalysis: From Freud to Liberation Psychology by Daniel Jose Gaztambide
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Films and TV series to watch:
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
- Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
- Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
- Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
- I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
- King In The Wilderness — HBO
- See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
- Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Available to rent for free
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Organizations to follow on social media:
- Antiracism Center: Twitter
- Audre Lorde Project: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Black Women’s Blueprint: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Conscious Kid: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Families Belong Together: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Justice League NYC: Twitter | Instagram + Gathering For Justice: Twitter | Instagram
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Movement For Black Lives (M4BL): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- MPowerChange: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Muslim Girl: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- National Domestic Workers Alliance: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- RAICES: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- SisterSong: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
More anti-racism resources to check out:
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Anti-Racism Project
- Jenna Arnold’s resources (books and people to follow)
- Rachel Ricketts’ anti-racism resources
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide by Tatiana Mac
- Showing Up For Racial Justice’s educational toolkits
- Center for Policing Equity
- “Why is this happening?” — an introduction to police brutality from 100 Year Hoodie
- Zinn Education Project’s teaching materials
- Altman, N. (2006) Whiteness. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 75:45-72
- Altman, N. (2000). Black and White Thinking: A Psychoanalyst Reconsiders Race. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 10(4): 589-605.
- Bodnar, S. (2004). Remember Where You Come From: Dissociative Process in Multicultural Individuals. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14:581-603.
- Hamer, F. M. (2006). Racism as a transference state: Episodes of racial hostility in the psychoanalytic context. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 75(1), 197-214.
- Hamer, F. M., (2002). Guards at the Gate: Race, Resistance, and Psychic Reality Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 50:1219-1237.
- Kelly, S., & Boyd-Franklin, N. (2005). African American women in client, therapist, and supervisory relationships: The parallel processes of race, culture, and family. In M. Rastogi & E. Wieling (Eds.), The voices of color: First person accounts of ethnic minority therapists (pp. 67-89). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Layton, L. (2006). Racial identities, racial enactments, and normative unconscious processes. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, LXXV(1), 237-269.
- Leary, K. (2007). Racial insult and repair. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 17(4), 539-550.
- Leary, K. (1997). Race, Self-Disclosure, and “Forbidden Talk”: Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Practice. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 66: 163-189.
- Suchet, M. (2004). A Relational Encounter with Race. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(4):423-438
- Tummala-Narra, P., (2004), Dynamics of race and culture in the supervisory encounter, Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 2, 300–311.
- Vaughans, K. C. (2014). Disavowed fragments of the intergenerational transmission of trauma from slavery among African Americans. In K. C. Vaughans and W. Spielberg (Eds). The Psychology of black boys and adolescents. Vol. 2, pp 189-208. New York: Praeger.
- Vaughans, K. C. (2015). To unchain haunting blood memories. In M. O’Loughlin & M. Charles (Eds). In M. O’Loughlin & M. Charles (Eds). Fragments of trauma and the social production of suffering: Trauma, history, and memory. pp 277-290. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefiled.