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Board of Trustees Approved Actions

The APA BOT Structural Racism Accountability Committee (SRAC) was formed in 2021 to ensure the recommendations of the 2020-2021 APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry (TFSR) are carried out.

APA’s Board of Trustees (BOT) approved the following 18 actions recommended by the TFSR along with six directives on issues that need to be updated and monitored by the SRAC. The SRAC will evaluate their success, make recommendations for improvements, and accomplish the other objectives that are noted in the final task force report.

  1. The Board of Trustees voted to approve that a list of Black APA/APAF Fellows be reported to the District Branches to encourage involvement in leadership of the District Branches and also for consideration as APA Assembly Representatives.
  2. The Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the Assembly Executive Committee that the Assembly establish a mentor/sponsor program from senior Assembly leaders for Black psychiatrists.
  3. The Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the Assembly Executive Committee that the Assembly orientation include a presentation about advancement in the Assembly and the assignment of a mentor/sponsor.
  4. The Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the Assembly Executive Committee that the Assembly Nominating Committee be given instructions about the importance of nominating a diverse pool of nominees.
  5. The Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the Assembly Executive Committee that the Assembly include the M/UR Caucuses and the M/UR Committee of the Assembly in the Assembly nomination process by having them submit nominations directly to the Assembly Nominating Committee.
  6. The Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the Assembly Executive Committee that the Assembly leadership identify “Equity Advisors” to advise the Assembly on all aspects related to diversity and equity.
  7. The Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the Assembly Executive Committee that the Assembly adopt consistent term limits for all Assembly Area Representatives and Assembly Area Deputy Representatives.
  8. The Board of Trustees voted to approve the development of a formal sponsorship program for URM psychiatrists under the aegis of the APA Division of Diversity and Health Equity (DDHE) including sponsors who are members of the BOT, Assembly leaders, Council Chairs and other component leaders.
  9. The Board of Trustees voted to require the Nominating Committee to formally reach out annually to all Council Chairs, Assembly Leadership and District Branch Leaders to solicit suggestions for URM psychiatrists appropriate for nominations for national office.
  10. The Board of Trustees voted to require the Nominating Committee to create a database that will be used annually to track the pool of potential URM nominees for national office that includes individuals suggested in prior years, new recommendations, and those who recently ran for national office or rotated off terms as elected leaders.
  11. The Board of Trustees voted to require that the rules for nationally elected APA positions be modified to prohibit all campaigning except through APA-sponsored activities, including the APA Election website with bios and videos, any special events APA might arrange (like an Election Town Hall), and any other activities or venues as the APA Elections Committee may direct or permit. The Board of Trustees voted to give the Election Committee the responsibility to interpret and implement the actions recommended by the workgroup after review and approval by the Board of Trustees at its March 2021 meeting. The Board of Trustees voted to evaluate this new election process to begin in 2022, after two years.
  12. The Board of Trustees voted to request that the Administration prepare an annual report to be formally reviewed by the Board of Trustees that documents the demographics of APA leaders, including the BOT, Assembly, and Components and tracks three-year trends.
  13. The Board of Trustees voted to approve the requirement that in addition to geographic diversity, type of practice diversity, and diversity in relevant content expertise, each standing committee, task force, work group, council and committee, shall (1) recommend a diverse group for its membership and (2) promote and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism in its agendas, discussions, and work products, both of which shall be reported to the JRC on an annual basis.
  14. The Board of Trustees voted to approve the requirement that any Bylaws changes be reviewed to ensure that the change will not adversely impact the inclusion of M/UR Assembly Group members among Component membership such that said membership at least reflects the known demographics of APA membership.
  15. The Board of Trustees voted to enhance the nomination process of component appointments to include:
    • That in order to attain optimal transparency, the APA will broadly disseminate through media at its disposal, details of the rationale and chronology for the process of Component appointment. The 2020-2021 Component Appointment Timeline is an appropriately illuminating example in this regard.
    • That the APA request that all nominees, appointees, Chairs, and current members of components self-disclose all requested demographic information (age, race, ethnicity, etc.), with the explanation that such data enables the APA to evaluate its important commitment to diversity. These anonymous data will be available on the APA website by means of a report made every three years to track progress over time.
  16. The Board of Trustees voted to mandate the APA to widely disseminate information and solicit nominations for Component membership, including annual reminders to District Branch Executive Directors and Presidents.
  17. The Board of Trustees voted to approve language in the APA Participation Policy stating that each Component member must ensure that the work of their Component take into account principles of diversity, inclusion and antiracism.
  18. The Board of Trustees voted to approve the following total term limits:
    • Members of Bylaws, Elections, and Ethics Committees: up to two 3-year terms.
    • Chairpersons of Bylaws, Elections, and Ethics Committees: up to four 1-year terms.
    • Members of Committee and Councils–up to two 3-year terms, with potential reappointment only after a hiatus of one full term.
    • Council Chairpersons–up to two 2-year terms.
    • Committee Chairs–up to five 1-year terms.
    • Waivers to these term limits must be rare and justified after recommendation by the Chair of the component and the President-elect and approved by majority vote of the Board of Trustees.

Other issues to be updated and monitored:

  1. Resources for reading about other minority groups.
  2. Follow up with components about where they are on projects and coordination of their work products.
  3. Ensuring that recommendations for Black Psychiatrists are carried across ethnic, racial and other underrepresented groups.
  4. Communications plan to keep members informed of continued work and results.
  5. Outstanding work of the Fellows (alumni directory, curriculum, reporting system).
  6. Outstanding work of indigenous Peoples work group – 4 article series in Psych News.

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