Posted on November 3, 2021

American Psychological Association Apologizes for Contributing to Systemic Racism

Nicole Chavez, CNN, November 1, 2021

The country’s leading scientific and professional psychology organization has issued a formal apology to communities of color for hurting them by contributing to systemic racism.

“The American Psychological Association failed in its role leading the discipline of psychology, was complicit in contributing to systemic inequities, and hurt many through racism, racial discrimination, and denigration of people of color, thereby falling short on its mission to benefit society and improve lives,” the group said in a news release.


The group adopted the apology and two other resolutions relating to racism and health equity on Friday after they were approved unanimously by its governing body.


The organization said it has been complicit in systemic racism and eugenics for decades by “upholding the myth of White superiority.”

Psychology has accepted Whiteness as the standard and “presented other races as inferior, marginal, or unnatural,” the group said.

White men established the APA in 1892 and many of them contributed to methods that perpetuated systemic racism, such as promoting eugenics, the APA said.

“Psychologists created, promoted, and administered psychological tests, intelligence tests, educational assessments, and interventions that were normed on White samples, culturally-biased, and discriminated against people of color,” the APA said.