APsaA's Holmes Commission on Racial Equality


The American Psychoanalytic Association's Responses to Current and Chronic Racial Injustice:  

The Holmes Commission on Racial Equality (CO-REAP) in the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) was established with the mission of investigating systemic racism and its underlying determinants embedded within APsaA, and to offer remedies for all aspects of identified racism.  The scope of our inquiry includes APsaA's national organizational governance structures, policies and practices, and the educational standards and practices within its member institutes.  CO-REAP will develop a plan of action to achieve racial equality in all that APsaA is and does. APsaA will continue to respond to racial crises with its current means (for example, town halls and racial equality statements).  At the same time, the Commission's task is to identify apparent and implicit manifestations of structural racism that may reside within APsaA and its member institutes, in our interactions with the wider psychoanalytic world beyond APsaA and with the public in general.

The Commission's Work: To achieve a thorough psychoanalytic understanding of how racism and its impacts play out within our national psychoanalytic organization and component institutes, the Commission will: frequently meet in think tanks, conduct surveys and interviews, engage in integrative smaller work groups, and produce a final report.

Commission Recommendations:  CO-REAP will recommend an action plan to APsaA that identifies all  changes that APsaA needs to make in its organizational structures, operations, and standards to ensure that racial equality is a hallmark of APsaA's identity and the identity of its member institutes.  The Commission will delineate its racial equality mission in policy and operational steps that will guide the establishment and maintenance of safe environments and opportunities for people of color to be able to achieve full advancement at all levels of engagement.  Evidence of success, over time, will be manifest in people of color choosing, increasingly, to join APsaA – to: seek and have access to psychoanalytic treatment, gain employment in our national organization, train in our institutes, become successful practitioners of psychoanalysis and become faculty members in our institutes. The Commission will recommend that APsaA establish a permanent structure to monitor and measure how it and its member Institutes are meeting APsaA's racial equality mission. The Commission also hopes that APsaA's public facing activities will clearly demonstrate its commitment to racial equality, and will catalyze other psychoanalytical organizations and enterprises to join us in making a universal commitment to racial equality in psychoanalysis.

A Note on the Formation of the Commission:  Recent and continuing racial atrocities in the United States awakened APsaA to its need to systematically and intentionally address our country's racism. To do so, APsaA leadership (William Glover, PhD and Kerry Sulkowicz, MD, President and President-Elect, respectively) collaborated with Black Psychoanalysts Speak (represented by its Co-Chairs, Craig Polite, PhD and Kathy White, PhD). The consultation resulted in naming the Holmes Commission and in appointing its leadership team. Commissioners were chosen to represent seasoned and new voices on race, and a variety of geographic, ethnic, gender, leadership and other qualities to promote lively and productive engagement of our work.  We recognize that other valuable voices are not represented on the Commission, and we look forward to benefiting from them in our ongoing work. Following is the Commission's roster, see apsa.org/commission-on-racial-equality, with biosketches and photos for each Commissioner. 

Timeline for the Commission's Work and Contact Information:  It is anticipated that the work of the Commission will take approximately one and one-half years.  CO-REAP will be seeking information widely, as indicated above, and we will welcome communication initiated by all interested parties.  To contact the Commission, we ask that you use the Commission's email:  holmescommission@apsa.org

Commission Members:

Dorothy Evans Holmes, PhD, Chair

Anton Hart, PhD, Co-Chair

Dionne Powell, MD, Co-Chair

Beverly Stoute, MD, Co-Chair

Nancy Chodorow, PhD

M. Fakhry Davids, MSc

Ebony Dennis, PsyD

William Glover, PhD, President, APsaA

Francisco Gonzales, MD

Forrest Hamer, PhD

Rafael Javier, PhD

Maureen Katz, PhD

Kimberlyn Leary, PhD, Distinguished Advisor to CO-REAP

Rachel D. Maree, MD

Michael Moskowitz, PhD

Donald Moss, MD

Kerry Sulkowicz, MD, President-Elect, APsaA

Usha Tummala-Narra, PhD

Kirkland Vaughans, PhD