Dear Friends and Colleagues in the SP Community,
We at SPI are horrified and devastated by the most recent evidence of racialized violence in the tragic murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Our hearts ache for their loved ones and for the state of affairs in the US. We stand in solidarity with the African American community, with indigenous and people of color in general, and with all of those fighting for reform and justice in the US and throughout the world. We join our voices with protestors in denouncing police brutality against BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color), racialized violence and systemic oppression in all its forms.
The recent murders occur in the shadow of the raging public health threat of the global pandemic and the inequality of its devastation, where severe illness and death rates are unequivocally higher for African Americans, those living in poverty, and those of other marginalized people. Along with the violence, this inequity is yet another manifestation of the systemic oppression that is pervasive in politics, policies, institutions, and in people’s hearts. We know that these recent senseless acts of violence are not new, that black and brown bodies in the US have consistently and systematically been the target of violence for centuries.
But words are no substitute for action. Things need to change. We support a reform of US policies and an overhaul of police culture, procedures and officer training. We support organizations that are furthering efforts in the fight for justice and putting an end to racialized violence and oppression wherever it exists.
We understand that addressing racism and structural inequity starts at home. As an institute, we are committed to taking action. SPI is addressing issues of privilege and oppression within our own organization and we are committed to continuing to do better. A few years ago, we formed an Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Think Tank to further our awareness and take meaningful actions within the organization and the training program. Through the Think Tank, we are helping our staff, trainers, and students raise awareness of issues of inequity, racialized violence, and the inherent bias toward all marginalized groups in the US and the world. The Think Tank has also been very active in curricular changes that reflect a deeper understanding of the impact of oppression and trauma. Available here is an excerpt from a recent book chapter written by SPI’s founder and other members of the Think Tank that speaks to our own work to address racism and implicit bias on a personal level and in psychotherapy practice.
Today, SPI made a donation to NAACP Empowerment Programs to support the mission of ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. If you’d like to make a donation as well, you can do so here. We are also actively working to develop a new scholarship offering that will further inclusivity and diversity within our community. We aim to launch that this summer and will keep you informed. We welcome your thoughts and collaboration, and have created a special form to collect your comments - SPI Anti-Racism & Anti-Oppression Comment Form.
We are committed to being a part of the solution. Thank you for being a part of our community.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute