NASP Adopts Resolution Committing to Antiracism Action
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Bethesda, MD—As part of the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) commitment to ensure all children’s ability to thrive in school, at home, and in life, NASP has adopted the “Resolution Committing to Antiracism Action.” The work of NASP is grounded in its mission, professional standards, position statements, resolutions, policies, and advocacy platforms, all of which are guided by research.
The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, in addition to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities, have highlighted the systemic inequities that Black people have faced historically and continue to face today. These racially fueled inequities, experienced by the Black community as well as other communities of color, play out in schools, which are microcosms of both past and current conditions in our society. Children, their families, and educators are deeply and negatively affected by this reality.
“Our country is at a crossroads with respect to issues around systemic racism, social justice, and the inequities being experienced by minoritized groups, especially children of color,” says NASP President Wendy Price. “School psychologists play key roles in schools as leaders, advocates for students and families, and change agents. This antiracism resolution is one of the many steps NASP is taking to amplify the importance of addressing head on racism in education. It outlines clear foundational beliefs which are imperative to ensuring a positive and equitable learning experience for every student.”
School psychology and NASP have an important role in putting an end to systemic racism and injustice, yet our actions have fallen short in many respects. This includes past professional practices that were rooted in racism, such as assessment and discipline practices that have contributed to disproportionate harmful outcomes for minoritized students. We recognize that being nonracist is not enough, nor is it the same thing as being an antiracist activist. It is our responsibility to seriously examine our norms and actions to ensure that we are not continuing to perpetuate systemic racism but rather are combating it. In addition to tackling professional practices, the resolution calls for advocating for public policies that dismantle systemic inequities in schools and our communities and increasing the representation of people of color in the field, NASP leadership, and NASP membership to better reflect the children and families we serve.
“NASP is committed to supporting the healthy development of all children and youth,” says NASP Executive Director Kathleen Minke. “In this moment of reflection on our failures as a nation to fully embrace diversity and confront racism, NASP is taking steps to honestly examine our own actions, and to use our knowledge, energy, and voice to do better. This resolution provides guidance for this work as an association and as advocates for building a more equitable society in which all children thrive.”
NASP’s resolution is written with history in mind. It is an urgent charge for the association and a call to action to all school psychologists. We must all be truly committed to our role as social justice advocates and agents through immediate and long-term action. Our children are depending on it.