AEDP Institute

Reaching for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the AEDP Institute

Our Intention

The AEDP Institute is intent on constantly becoming more and more diverse, equitable and inclusive. And we are intent on doing so in a way that is consistent with our core values of undoing aloneness, and creating and maintaining safety.

This webpage is meant to be a resource for learning about what is happening at the Institute (and eventually, perhaps in the broader AEDP community) to support this intention.

While we are especially focused for now on racial diversity, equity and inclusion, the Institute plans to address other areas of marginalization – beyond racial identity – as well. We believe that our work on race, which feels very urgent to us, will pave the way and even begin the process of addressing every form of marginalization.

Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the end of 2019, the AEDP Institute launched the Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The committee is made up of AEDP faculty and staff. You may contact us at DEI-Committee@aedpinstitute.org.

Throughout 2019, the AEDP Institute faculty and staff were formally engaged as individuals and in group discussion about race and racism – both individual and institutional. This process began in bits and pieces over several years as we began to not only hear but deeply listen to and share among each other the stories we heard from course participants and other community members. We slowly came to learn about how we have left some members of our community feeling alone and in some cases triggered by our actions or inactions. This is the opposite of what we are committed to at AEDP and we are, humbly, committed to doing much better.

Below is a summary of what we have been doing as an Institute and what is currently planned for the upcoming years. We know any communication around these sensitive issues can be challenging and we will trip on our words and worse. Please bear with us and give us feedback as we struggle to find our communal balance.

Yuko Hanakawa, Lynne Hartwell, Monica Hodges, Karen Kranz, Jerry Lamagna, Ben Medley

The AEDP Institute’s Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I-Committee@aedpinstitute.org)

Diversity Scholarship Program

In 2017-18 the Institute started a Diversity Scholarship Program for Immersion, skills courses and Institute sponsored seminars. The program has helped our courses become more diverse and inclusive than we were. The Diversity Scholarship Committee (formerly known as the Diversity Committee and now a sub-committee of the Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) along with dedicated volunteers in the community is constantly learning and improving the scholarship program.

To apply for a scholarship for a particular course, please visit the course page and look for Diversity Scholarships just below the registration button.

Anti-Racism Training for Faculty

In the fall of 2018 a group of community members were invited to, and agreed to, recommend a process for Institute faculty and staff to go through to help us begin anti-racism efforts . As a result, in the spring of 2019 the Institute held several faculty meetings dedicated to educating ourselves on some of the ways that racism shows up in the AEDP community and in our own personal and professional lives. We did shared readings/webinars: Robin Diangelo, Brian Stephenson, Layla Saad, Ken Hardy, material on cultural humility, and more … as well as sharing and soul searching using Layla Saad’s recommended methods for doing so.

Next was the formation of an AEDP Institute faculty and administration project committee charged with finding an organization or consultant to help us set much needed changes in motion.

After speaking with and investigating a myriad of possibilities, the project committee recommended that the Institute begin work with the Racial Equity Institute (REI). At the end of 2019 we formed the current Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) whose members will attend trainings and oversee the implementation of racial equity initiatives throughout AEDP including working in tandem with the already operational Diversity Scholarship Committee.

We expect that the work with REI will be a two-year, several-phase process; several members of the Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) have already begun REI training.

Developments in the application of AEDP in the treatment of marginalized populations

AEDP recognizes the necessity of understanding how institutional, inter-relational and intra-relational oppression affects marginalized patients and their therapists, and the importance of then using that understanding to inform actions. In addition to having an active diversity scholarship program, the AEDP Institute now has a committee for diversity, equity and inclusion; and the AEDP faculty is engaging in training to better understand, analyze and create new initiatives to mitigate manifestations of white privilege and institutionalized racism. Though we recognize that so much more is needed, we have begun to incorporate into our presentations considerations on how to work with marginalized populations (Hanakawa, 2019; Lipton & Medley, 2019; Medley, 2020), and we are working to develop new training modules, workshops, and presentations; writings on this topic are on the horizon. This includes an exploration of the application of AEDP to severely mentally ill populations (Hanakawa, 2019).

Presentation on Marginalized Populations

AEDP faculty member and Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) member, Ben Medley, LCSW is presenting a seminar in New York City in February, 2020 on AEDP and working with marginalized populations. We expect this presentation to be re-presented in locations across North America in 2020 and beyond.

Addressing Other Forms of Marginalization

While we are especially focused for now on racial diversity, equity and inclusion the Institute plans to address other areas of marginalization – beyond racial identity – as well. We believe that our work on race, which feels very urgent to us, will pave the way and even begin the process of addressing every form of marginalization.

What’s Next

We will not be waiting to “have all the answers” before making changes at the Institute as imperfect and uncomfortable as they may be. This is and will continue to be a work in progress.