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Race, ethnicity and culture

British Psychological Society’s response to the report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

The British Psychological Society has today responded to the findings of the report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

01 April 2021

By BPS Communications

Diane Ashby, Deputy Chief Executive of the British Psychological Society, said:

The findings of the report represent a missed opportunity to identify the causes of disparities in our society, systemic racism, and to drive forward the positive change the Government said it wishes to deliver.

We are particularly concerned that the re-traumatising of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people through a denial of their lived experience, will have an adverse psychological impact.

As stated previously we recognise that institutional racism exists and as an organisation we will tackle it.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies in striving for anti-racist practice and are committed to tackling racism within our profession. We will not be complacent.

Through close examination of various reports including the Stephen Lawrence report, The Lammy Review and more recently the Public Health England Covid report and the BPS’ Racial and social inequalities: Taking the conversations forward position paper written by BPS DCP Racial and social inequalities in the times of Covid-19 working group, it is clear that longstanding inequalities were exacerbated by Covid-19.

The British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology outlined an urgent call to centre, support and learn from at-risk communities.

This position paper acknowledges that structural racism creates an environment where Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic populations are more likely to experience multi-layered inequities, some of which were recorded and commented on by Public Health England.

Our position paper also acknowledges and stigma and structural racism are real.

Moving forwards we recommend that we:-

  • Recognise stigma and counter racism and bias at all levels
  • Examine values and confront racist and prejudice within and outside
  • Support and recognise the value added by the BAME communities
  • Practice anti-racism and counter policies, which disadvantage vulnerable groups
  • Engage with difference and vulnerability with respect and humility
  • Champion antiracist ideas and non-discriminatory practices
  • Talk about inequalities – Silence is not an option

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