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Historians, psychiatrists apologize for groups’ past racism

Moves come as associations of all types reexamine their diversity and inclusion efforts following 2020 Black Lives Matter protests

Feb. 5, 2021
By Walt Williams

Two associations representing historians and psychiatrists are apologizing for their past roles in perpetuating racism.

The American Historical Association announced Jan. 27 that it had begun a review to determine its role in spreading racist historical scholarship. In a related move, the American Psychiatric Association on Jan. 18 said it has “begun the process of making amends for both the direct and indirect acts of racism in psychiatry.”

“Early psychiatric practices laid the groundwork for the inequities in clinical treatment that have historically limited quality access to psychiatric care for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color),” APA said. “These actions sadly connect with larger social issues, such as race-based discrimination and racial injustice, that have furthered poverty along with other adverse outcomes.”