BGSP Anti-Racism Committee (9/11/20)
The Anti-Racism Committee was formed at BGSP following the recent incidents of police brutality and homicide, specifically the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmed Arbery, which have galvanized widespread social awareness of systemic racism. The BGSP faculty has issued a statement condemning these killings and all forms of racism and social oppression, including the conditions leading to the disproportionate death toll due to COVID-19 among people of color. The BGSP community has come together to discuss what we can do as an institution to examine our own internal racism and what actions are needed to address it. The committee, composed of representatives from all constituencies within the School, was formed to work on an action plan and has articulated the following mission:
Mission Statement of the BGSP Anti-Racism Committee
The Anti-Racism Committee of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis unequivocally condemns the state-sanctioned violent oppression of Black and Indigenous People of Color that was built into the foundation of this country and continues today, sustaining the anti-Black racism and grave racial disparities embedded in all aspects of American society. As a committee, we are committed to uncovering and dismantling systems of oppression harmful to all marginalized identities, most specifically at BGSP.
We acknowledge that our own discipline has been historically influenced by and used to promote racist ideas, has reflected oppressive structures, and has included practices that are harmful to all people, but especially to people of color.1 These ideas and practices are antithetical to the School’s mission to understand humanity and to promote emotional growth. To this end, we are committed to working to change social contexts to foster the full development of each individual to their full potential.
The Anti-Racism Committee’s objectives at BGSP are threefold:
1. To provide a forum to discuss racism that occurs at BGSP. The committee will provide a sounding board for the concerns of all people of color, lead in advocacy against racism, and work to provide education about racism, in order to develop an institutional climate that combats hate and supports the Committee’s other objectives.
2. To actively bring people of color into leadership positions in the School, as faculty, speakers, mentors, and administrators.
3. To integrate issues of race, racism, and oppression into every course within the BGSP curriculum, in relation to the subject of the course.
The Committee’s first objective, to provide a forum for examining and combatting all racism at BGSP, is our prevailing concern. We condemn racism categorically and seek to support all students and faculty members of color.
The Committee also recognizes that anti-Black oppression stands out in the history of this country for the intentional and systematic nature of white supremacy. As a way of providing focus to the regrettably limited resources of the Anti-Racism Committee, the Committee has chosen to spend its inaugural year focusing its recruitment and curricular efforts (objectives 2 and 3) on countering anti-Black racism within the field.
1 Stoute, B. (2017). Race and Racism in Psychoanalytic Thought: The Ghosts in Our Nursery. The American Psychoanalyst, 51(1), 10-29. https://apsa.org/apsaa-publications/vol51no1-TOC/html/vol51no1_08.xhtml