HOUSTON, MARCH 29, 2021—Our country suffered another senseless act of hate and violence in a mass shooting in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, where 8 people were murdered, 6 of whom were Asian women. Over the last year during the COVID pandemic, Asian Americans have reported over 3,800 hate incidents to the non-profit STOP AAPI Hate, of these incidents a staggering 68% were experienced by Asian women—highlighting the increasing violence at the intersections of racism, xenophobia and misogyny. In response to this, a thoughtful and heartfelt message was developed by the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) Outreach Committee in collaboration with AGPA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, and the AGPA Racial and Ethnic Diversity Special Interest Group (RED-SIG) strongly condemning this horrific hate crime.
HGPS Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Committee stands firmly behind the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and joins with AGPA in unequivocally condemning this violence and the hate that ignites it. And we are grief stricken over the senseless loss of those lives, yet again, victims of racialized hate. We invite our fellow HGPS members to stand alongside REDI, AGPA, and the AAPI community by holding the victims and their families in your hearts, seizing opportunities for committee collaboration around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) work, and deepening your own intercultural awareness and compassion. REDI mourns alongside our esteemed Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues and recognizes that if this affects one of us, it affects all of us.
We are just as deeply affected now as we were last summer after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. If this affects one of us, it affects all of us. REDI is a vibrant committee established in summer 2020, born in the aftermath of that deeply tragic event. Our goal is to collaborate with HGPS’s board and members toward shifting this mostly white organization to one that fosters a sense of belonging for a racially diverse membership through equitable and inclusive practices. As part of this effort, we must acknowledge and own our biases. We must listen to the voices of the AAPI and BIPOC communities and build authentic cross-racial relationships through uncomfortable conversations about racism in all its forms to counter the hate crimes proliferating across our nation.
Furthermore, we need to ask ourselves—Are we creating spaces that generate corrective emotional experiences for our BIPOC and AAPI clients, or spaces that re-enact the trauma, ruptures, and pain, without repair or healing? We need to be a part of the change. This is our responsibility as therapists, because we hold the container of that dynamic social microcosm.