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Statement by NYSPA in Opposition to Murder of George Floyd

Monday, June 1, 2020  

View the statement in PDF format here.


The New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA) expresses its strong condemnation of the brutal and unconscionable murder of George Floyd. The systematic targeting of Black and Brown members of our community has no place in our society. We recognize that incident is not an isolated event. This latest murder resurrects trauma associated with Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and so many others. It is also a painful reminder that although time continues to pass, the deep-seated racism and hatred remains an ugly stain for our nation. As such, NYSPA opposes these acts in the strongest terms.

As beneficiaries of many forms of privilege, it our responsibility to speak up and oppose all forms prejudice, discrimination, and hatred. In a recent publication by Bor and colleagues (2018), they estimated that roughly 300 Black Americans are killed at the hands of police each year, many of which are unarmed. As expected, these researchers reported these incidents result in deleterious mental health outcomes among members of the Black community. As psychologists, we also have a responsibility to help our clients process these racial traumas.

NYSPA remains committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The following actions are just a few ways we have lent our voice to the issue.


  1. In November 2018 NYSPA’s Council of Representatives adopted a resolution on the commitment and inclusion of Diasporan Africans. This resolution, and our other adopted resolutions, can be found here.  
  2. NYSPA’s Disaster Resource Network (DRN) has played an exemplary role in helping with training and outreach to communities affected by Covid-19. The DRN is available to work with communities affected by and in need of emotional first aid pursuant to this horrific act of brutality and efforts to problem-solve to seek solutions to heal and embrace a solidarity among all people of all diversity. For those interested in volunteering, please contact Dr. Evelyn Rappoport or Dr. Roy Aranda.

  3. In March 2020, I created a Presidential Taskforce on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. One goal of this group is to bridge concerns of psychologists who identify and/or treat and address needs of diverse persons with NYSPA. For those interested in participating in this group, please contact Dr. Anu Raj or Dr. Alexandra Stratyner.

In solidarity with our colleagues, clients, and members of communities affected by this tragedy.



Daniel Kaplin, PhD
President, New York State Psychological Association