Antiracism Action Working Group

The group was founded in the summer of 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Its first task was to write a mission statement:

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter and racial injustice movements, our group has begun to meet to craft a long-range plan for our Institute and its community to explore racist issues and adopt anti-racist measures. Racism and institutional inequities are woven into the fabric of every social structure and institution in this country, including ours; it is the air we breathe. The journey toward awareness is long and filled with obstacles. We will have to remind ourselves again and again to stay the course.

We believe that the path to systemic change starts from within each individual. And so, we invite everyone in our community to participate in this shared project. We recognize that genuine progress will be slow and at times painful. We are also aware that it can lead each of us to greater awareness and all of us to greater action. We envision this as a sustained conversation leading to personal transformation and psychic growth that expands ourselves as human beings and the role of the Institute in its engagement with our society.

Our working group is in the process of crafting a plan for the Institute that involves initiatives at the individual, group and systemic levels. We have outlined some preliminary actions: Those in leadership roles at the Institute will be asked to immerse themselves in antiracism training. We will offer clinical groups to understand how antiracist ideas and psychoanalytic concepts can enrich one another. And we will have a Town Hall to facilitate a broad-based discussion among members of the community and to initiate first steps toward institutional change.

We must create safe spaces for Black people and all people of color both within our Institute and within our individual practices. We must create safe spaces for reflection and learning at all levels of the Institute in the midst of the cultural trauma in which we are all immersed. We ask that everyone commit to being respectful, curious and open as we learn, together, to speak about what is unspeakable and largely unspoken.

Toni Andrews
Lucy Bruell
Andrew Gerber
Tom Hennes
Elizabeth Krimendahl
Michelle Stephens

The group has since expanded to include the following people: Lori Bohm, Stephen Friedman, and Stephane Goldsand.

The Working Group sponsored six Town Halls during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic year for our community members to explore their relationship to racism.

The Working Group sponsored a diagnostic report of racism at the Institute through in-depth interviews with a representative cross section of the community in 2021-22.

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