The Critical Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Racism can be hard to see. I did not realize I was born with privilege. My father was a poor farmer and school bus driver, and my mother was a teacher. We lived in a small house in the country. It has taken me a lifetime to recognize my own white privilege and how racism is perpetuated by the people in the communities in which I have. I have had to recognize I have used my white privilege to obtain higher education and advance socially and economically.
In high school and college, I taught summer migrant school. I recognized the discrimination in my community against the migrant farmworkers. I really loved these children, and it bothered me that they were treated as second class citizens. I went to my Intro Psychology professor, Dr. Sally Beck, and I told her I did not think the migrant farm children were being accurately assessed, due to language barriers. I thought I should become a bilingual psychometrist. She told me I needed to become a psychologist. I followed her advice.
I want to use my privilege to help assure that everyone has a seat at the APA table. The large lesson I have learned as part of APA governance is that we struggle as psychologists to include all voices in our organization. There is a wide range of diverse voices who are APA members. I believe I represent a vision for uniting our organization in the middle of extremely challenging times, to advance our strategic priorities and defend and protect our people. I imagine APA as a large diverse organizational umbrella under which all psychologists belong, with the unique mixture of race, religion, cultural background, physical difference, sexual orientation, gender identity or political perspective, united by our passion for psychology.
I have served on the APA Board during the racism pandemic. If elected, I will honor the voices of my colleagues and consider all opinions. I will strive to be aware of my implicit biases and encourage others to help me be aware of them. I will care about the forgotten and underserved in America and around the world. I will work to be part of a world that makes no stereotypic negative assumptions based on race, and assures safe and integrated communities for all people. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is critically important for APA and for the world in which we live.