A Letter to the AEDP Community
June 9, 2020
Dear AEDP Community,
In the midst of ongoing trauma, grieving and anger, and also growing and determined protests in the US and worldwide, we at the AEDP Institute stand on the side of justice, in solidarity with the Black community. Black lives matter.
We are heartbroken and horrified by the murders of
Trayvon Martin of Miami Gardens, Florida
Sandra Bland of Waller County, Texas
Eric Garner of Staten Island, New York
Ahmaud Arbery of Glynn County, Georgia
Breonna Taylor of Louisville, Kentucky
George Floyd of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tony McDade of Tallahassee, Florida
and so, so many others.
We mourn these losses and are outraged by their deaths. We reflect on our complicity through past silence and inaction. We acknowledge and bear responsibility that we have not done enough to fight against the endemic racism that is the root cause of these murders and so many other injustices and inequities. We are committed to fighting the systemic racism that infects every institution in this country, including our own. We are determined to be on the side that fights racism, inequality and white supremacy and we know that it starts with our own work. We go forward, determined to “do the next right thing” and the one after that, and the one after that.
We have identified some steps and some intentions to take as an organization, knowing fully well that ours is a work in progress, and that we have a long way to go. Our AEDP community knows about the power of moments of undoing aloneness and the energy and adaptive actions tendencies that come from moments of transformation, and we want to put those to use. We want to do so responsibly, with compassion and humility, holding the pain, bearing the discomfort and privileging and nurturing the flowering violets peeking through the concrete.
Actions and intentions:
1) Accountability to the AEDP Community
George Floyd was murdered on May 25, Memorial Day, 2020. We commit ourselves to coming back to you, the AEDP community, a year from now, on Memorial Day, 2021 to report on what we have done in the intervening year and where we are with our agenda of institutional change.
2) Our own work — as a faculty, as an Institute and as individuals.
We recognize the importance of ongoing work with anti-racism training, practices and processes. The AEDP Institute faculty and admin recently participated in “Groundwater” antiracism training with the Racial Equity Institute (REI). We plan to continue training in antiracism and engage with various organizations, leaders and teachers in the years ahead.
3) Development of new programs and policies to increase sense of safety, voice and leadership for self-identified Black community members in all aspects of AEDP Institute sponsored courses, training and supervision, with a more inviting fee structure to be developed with community input. We want our trainings to be as safe as possible, as well as welcoming and affordable so that Black therapists want to come to us for training and want to make AEDP their psychotherapy home.
a) A pilot program: No-questions-asked, ‘pay-what-you-wish’ online trainings for self-identified Black therapists. July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
Making the implicit explicit, in acknowledgment of the immeasurable toll of systemic racism, we are changing our policy, practice and language with respect to course fees for Black mental health professionals: as of July 1, 2020, we invite Black professionals to participate in AEDP sponsored online seminars and courses on a ‘pay-what-you-wish’ basis; no application required.
b) Increased accessibility for Black community members to AEDP supervision to facilitate the path to certification and leadership.
Diana Fosha, AEDP Faculty, and many AEDP Certified Supervisors commit to a minimum of 60-90 minutes weekly of low cost and/or free individual or group supervision for Black members of the AEDP community. Fall, 2020 Please go here to view the list.
d) Work hard to increase the number of BIPOC Experiential Assistants in AEDP trainings. Ongoing
4) Partner with mental health organizations committed to anti-racism work and organizations primarily composed of BIPOC clinicians and trainers. Ongoing
5) We have made donations to
— Black Lives Matter, an organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, they are committed to winning immediate improvements in the lives of the Black people they serve: blacklivesmatter.com
— Investigative Network, an investigative journalism organization dedicated to uncovering and exposing abuses of power, corruption, betrayal of public trust by powerful elected officials and public and private institutions. investigativenetwork.org
6) We have created a dedicated “address” on our website for your input.
Please share with us your feedback, suggestions, complaints and concerns by emailing DEI-Committee@aedpinstitute.org. We particularly welcome your wish lists: what you would like to see in AEDP policies, courses and training that would increase the safety and number of BIPOC community members, as well as promote education, professional development, creativity, and last but not least… what we might do to promote joy.
We invite you to join us and:
— educate yourself.
— donate to organizations that do good work that you believe in.
— support and work to elect public officials committed to fighting systemic racism and injustice and reforming police, government, legal system, mental health system etc.
In solidarity and with hopeful hearts,
Diana Fosha & the Faculty & the Administration Team of the AEDP Institute