How to Engage in Anti-Racism Practices

SRA is committed to promoting anti-racism within our organization, developmental science, and society at large. We define anti-racism as racial equity created and maintained by interactions between equitable psychological factors, such as beliefs, feelings, and behavior rooted in equity, and equitable sociopolitical factors, such as laws, policies, and institutions that ensure equity for all (Roberts & Rizzo, 2020). Having an anti-racist perspective means challenging, interrupting, and eliminating all forms of racism within ourselves and our spheres of influence (Derman-Sparks & Phillips, 1997).      

With that commitment in mind, in the summer of 2020, SRA convened an Anti-Racism Task Force to supplement the work of the Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Committee. The goal of the Task Force was to provide programmatic resources advocating for equity, targeting racism as a public health concern, supporting anti-racism work, and providing support for scholars from marginalized groups.


SRA Statement on Violence towards Asian Americans along with Helpful Resources

Soon Chung Park. Hyun Jung Grant. Suncha Kim. Yong Yue. Delaina Ashley Yaun. Paul Andre Michels. Xiaojie Tan. Daoyou Feng. 

The Society for Research on Adolescence extends our sympathies and support for our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Atlanta and nationwide after 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian American women, were murdered in Georgia on March 16, 2021. We grieve for the victims and their families. We hear our AAPI children, family and colleagues in pain, fear, anger, sadness, exhaustion, and so much more. SRA stands with you.    

This latest tragedy highlights yet again the disproportionate impact that racism, sexism, and economic vulnerability have on adolescents and communities of color. We recognize this—not as an isolated incident of anti-Asian hate or violence—but a longstanding trend and history of white supremacy that juxtaposes Asians in America as the “model minority” who are successful and do not encounter racism, while simultaneously “yellow perils” who are a threat to “American” values and families (Lee, E., 2015; Wu, 2000). We recognize the violence toward Asian American women in particular are at the intersections of racial and gender oppressions as Asian American women have been hypersexualized well before the Page Act of 1875 (Espiritu, 1992; Lee, R.G., 1999). We understand that history matters and words matter -- they shape the complicated, multidimensional, intergenerational racial trauma that is racism-related stress experienced daily by our youth of color and their families (Harrell, 2000).   

For the first time in over three decades and two days after the tragedy in Atlanta, Americans heard congressional testimony about the pain and suffering caused by racism and xenophobia directed at Asian Americans. From spitting, shooting, slashing and being set aflame, AAPI communities have endured approximately 4,000 known (although likely underreported) incidents of hateful behavior over the past year (Stop AAPI Hate National Report, 2021). Of note, AAPI women were two times more likely to report hate crimes than men, and youths (0 to 17 years-old) reported 12.6% of incidents.  Anti-Asian hate crimes surged 149% in the US, while overall hate crime dropped 7% in 2020 in comparison to the previous year (Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, 2021). A recent study has documented that anti-Asian sentiment increased following the past administration’s use of derogatory language since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Without a doubt, these events are meant to scapegoat the Asian American community for the COVID-19 pandemic. Hateful acts rooted in COVID-19 scapegoating are not only harmful (Cheah et al., 2020; Wakabayashi et al., 2020) but are exacerbated by the suffering, loss, and separation brought on by the pandemic.  

We know that youth encountered anti-Asian racism before the pandemic, and this has only become more pronounced since then (Cheah et al., 2020). These experiences can cause long-term damage to the health and well-being of AAPI youth (Arora et al., 2020; Choi et al., 2020). Let us be clear: racism or white supremacy have deep roots in U.S. history, and these anti-Asian realities predate the current pandemic. Moreover, our history reminds us that white supremacy and anti-Asian racism knows no national boundaries. For instance, we similarly saw a rise of anti-Asian racism in the United Kingdom last year (Clements, 2021). 

As a professional society dedicated to the safety, health, and well-being of all adolescents around the globe, we support and stand in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. We are committed to addressing anti-Asian racism specifically and recognize that Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other minoritized communities also face continued violence. As a Society, we vow to dismantle the white supremacy in our organization, research and clinical practice with adolescents, and the larger society. More attention needs to be paid to how adolescents and society writ large can develop more cross-racial solidarity and work together to take down systems of oppression. At SRA, we will create space for discussions on anti-Asian racism in our upcoming events focusing on supporting adolescents and their families . We call for institutions to invest in culture, language, mental health and race specific support for the AAPI community. We offer these following resources for adolescents, families, researchers, policy makers, clinicians, and others working with adolescents to learn more about the history of anti-Asian violence and racism, community organizations, and mental health supports to act now and support those around you. 

Stop Anti-Asian Racism - Resource List

Table of Contents:

  1. Information on Anti-Asian Violence
  2. Resources for Teens and Caregivers
  3. Resources for Educators
  4. Community Organizations and Resources
  5. Mental Health and Wellness Resources

SRA Statement On Anti-Racism And Social Justice

Dear Members,
 
SRA condemns the White supremacy, racism, and police brutality that led to the recent deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, João Pedro Mattos Pinto, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. These events are unfortunately only some of the most recent and well-known and reflect the centuries of systematic oppression that have occurred in the United States and across the world against Black people. We believe Black Lives Matter.
 
Systemic racism touches everyday life experiences with long-term effects on almost every aspect of one’s life.
 
The research is clear about the pernicious effects of racism on the psychological and physical health of Black people (Chae et al., 2016Williams, 2018). Specifically, studies indicate that living in a racist society is negative for Black families and Black adolescents’ psychological, physical, and academic development (Berkel et al., 2009Murry et al., 2009Neblett & Roberts, 2013Seaton & Yip, 2009).
 
The stresses of graphic media depictions of police brutality (Tynes et al., 2019), coupled with social isolation, disruption, and loss, during a pandemic that disproportionately impacts communities of color, may have particularly acute impacts on adolescents, causing epigenetic aging (Brody et al.,2016). This may also be true for any of you, particularly our Black members, who may feel angry, sad, sickened, tired, exhausted, or numb. All of these feelings are valid, particularly with the trauma inflicted by witnessing these events repeatedly (Anderson & Stevenson, 2019). Please take time to care for yourselves and loved ones during this time.

RACISM AND COVID-19 PANDEMIC 
These racialized events are occurring in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately impacting Black Americans, as evidenced by overrepresentation in cases and deaths, often attributed to increased exposure as “essential” workers, in jobs that often do not have the option of working from home.  While data on the impact of the pandemic by racial/ethnic subgroup has been incomplete or missing, a recent CDC report on 580 COVID-19 cases revealed that 33% of the hospitalized patients identified as Black (CDC, March 2020). That the Black community bears the brunt of mortality has also been confirmed through AMP Research Lab, indicating that while Blacks make up 13% of the U.S. population, they compromise 42.8% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.(APM Research Lab, COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. May 2020). In fact, four of five counties with the highest death rates are predominately Black (The COVID Racial Tracker, 2020).
 
SRA’s COMMITMENT TO ANTI-RACISM & SOCIAL JUSTICE
SRA is committed to policies and practices that demonstrate, in words and actions, that our organization is inclusive, equitable, and just, for everyone. For example, we:

  • hired a consultant to examine our practices involving inclusion and equity
  • are forming a task force to develop strategies for implementing programmatic efforts targeting equity, social justice, and anti-racism as a public health concern; supporting anti-racism workplace settings, and providing support for early and mid-career scholars from marginalized groups,
  • are finalizing a consensus statement from SRA on mental health in African American youth in the context of racism that will be published in JRA, and
  • will expand opportunities to disseminate information (research, teaching tools, policies, and preventive intervention registry) about race, racism, and anti-racism, such as conducting webinars and podcasts for SRA members, parents, adolescents, legislatures, teachers, and other youth-focused organizations.  

We will leverage SRA members’ research on development to inform policies and practices that contribute to more equitable opportunities and flourishing lives. SRA Executive Council, in collaboration with a Presidential appointed ad hoc committee, will be charged with reviewing and evaluating SRA’s policies and practices for racialized impact and develop action plans to eliminate racism and social injustice.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CREATE AN EQUITABLE & JUST SOCIETY?
Many members may be wondering what they can do to fight racism and help adolescents during this time. Please refer to this list of actions such as signing petitions, donating resources, making phone calls, sending emails, and educating oneself about race, racism, and antiracism. 
 
Take care of yourself and be there for others. These are emotionally and physically challenging times.  We also encourage you to reach out to each other in meaningful ways to promote an end to anti-blackness, including speaking up against racism and injustice in your family, community, and workplace. As Angela Davis stated, “in a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist”.
 
Yours in solidarity,
 
Velma McBride Murry, SRA President
Gabriela Livas Stein, SRA VP of Programming
Jen Brydges, SRA Executive Director

SRA Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Committee
Fatima Varner, Chair
Meeta Banerjee, Co-Chair
Russell Toomey, Past-Chair
Deborah Rivas-Drake
Kristy S. Lee
Vanja Lazarevic
Hyung Chol (Brandon) Yoo
David Lydon-Staley
Sasha Fleary


New Partnership Commits To Increasing Scholarly Research On Systemic Racism

Associations Now

In the wake of a renewed focus on social justice and structural racism, three education and child-focused organizations have joined forces to help expand the pool of scholarly information on racism and its impact on young people. Read the full article here.


Resources For Talking About Race, Racism And Racialized Violence With Kids

This document was compiled by the Center for Racial Justice in Education. It is not meant to be exhaustive and will be continually updated as we are made aware of more resources.


Videos And Teaching Materials On “Hidden Figures” In Developmental Science

As you may know, there are over 100,000 psychology undergraduate majors and approximately 15,000 human development undergraduate majors in the United States, of which approximately only 15% are underrepresented minorities. In fact, Blacks and Hispanics are often underrepresented in graduate studies and particularly in full professor and leadership roles. To pique the interest of a broader diversity of potential developmental scientists at an earlier stage in their own career development, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) has developed the “Hidden Figures” in Development Science video series, which I write to you about now.

The videos feature 12 scholars, include narratives of these leaders’ professional trajectories, the challenges they have faced along the way, and their perspective on how diversity enhances the contributions of developmental science. Accompanying pedagogical materials for each video include in-class and out-of-class activities, discussion questions, and small group activities. To view the videos and pedagogical materials please visit https://www.srcd.org/professional-advancement/hidden-figures-developmental-science-series. They are also provided below for your easy reference.