Cover of School Psychology ReviewDr. Jennifer McGrory Cooper, NCSP is an assistant professor in the School-Clinical Child Psychology program at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. She and 13 colleagues—Dr. Dieu M. Truong (University of Houston), Dr. Marie L. Tanaka (University of Arizona), Dr. Sam Song (University of Nevada–Las Vegas), Dr. Devadrita Talapatra (University of Denver), Dr. Prena Arora (Teachers College–Columbia University), Dr. Pamela Fenning (Loyola University Chicago), Dr. Elizabeth McKenney (Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville), Dr. Stacy Williams (Marist College), Dr. Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University), Dr. Shane R. Jimerson (University of California–Santa Barbara), Lauren Pandes-Carter (Ph.D. student, Ferkauf), Dr. David Hulac (University of Northern Colorado) and Dr. Enedina García-Vázquez (New Mexico State University)—have published what they call a “unified statement” titled “School Psychology Unified Call for Deeper Understanding, Solidarity, and Action to Eradicate Anti-AAAPI Racism and Violence” in School Psychology Review (August 10, 2021).

Here is the abstract:

Racist rhetoric blaming the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAAPI) community for the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated a surge of violence against the AAAPI community in the United States, including the Atlanta mass shooting on March 16, 2021. These incidents resurfaced the ongoing racism against AAAPIs that has largely been unaddressed despite lasting almost 2 centuries. The erasure of AAAPIs’ historical oppression, unique cultures, languages, immigration experiences, and contributions to scientific and social justice advancement in the United States has hindered AAAPI voices from being heard. School psychologists are ethically bound to promote equity and dismantle racism; it is imperative to increase visibility of AAAPIs’ experiences across training levels (P–12 and graduate programs), settings, and systems. In this unified statement, school psychology organizations have come together to reaffirm the field’s commitment to anti-racism by offering proactive strategies to effectively promote visibility and equity for AAAPI students, families, and communities.

Citing an absence of discussion of anti-AAAPI racism and anti-racism in school psychology, the authors wish to provide in their article “(a) a much-needed starting point for school psychologists to learn about the history of discrimination, racism, and violence targeting AAAPIs in the United States that has been virtually unaddressed; (b) a critical context for the recent rise in COVID-19-related anti-AAAPI violence while shedding critical light on the deep-seated racism that has oppressed AAAPIs for centuries in America; and (c) beginning strategies that school psychology faculty members, practitioners, and students can engage in to dismantle anti-AAAPI racism across individual and systems levels.”

They also encourage everyone to support the statement issued on February 18, 2021, by Trainers of School Psychologists and American Psychological Association Division 16, “Addressing Anti-AAPI Racism and Xenophobia,” by raising awareness of rising rates of discrimination and violence against members of the AAAPI communities in the United States and sharing resources to support trainers and practitioners in addressing anti-AAAPI racism and xenophobia.

The article is divided into five sections—Need For A Deeper And Broader Statement, Asian Hate Is Not New, Systemic Erasure And Caricatures Of AAAPI Community, Unseen Mental Health Needs And Toll On AAAPIs, Naming The Root Cause Of Racism—and ends with a series of steps that can be taken by organizations and individuals to combat the situation.

The unified statement is signed by Trainers of School Psychologists, American Psychological Association Division 16, Society for the Study of School Psychology, Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs, International School Psychology Association, American Board of School Psychology and National Association of School Psychologists.

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