Council Updates

May 2021

Update from your Oregon Representative to APA Council
By Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara, PsyD 

As your Oregon Council Representative to APA, I want to provide you with an overview of what went on at the February 2021 Council of Representatives (CoR) Virtual Meeting (February 25, 26 and 27th). A quick summary for each item that was voted on is provided below. 

APA President Dr. Jennifer Kelly began the council meeting by welcoming the Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations (EMPAs) as voting members. This is the first meeting where the EMPAs participated as voting members. Dr. Kelly also highlighted APA’s work in highlighting psychological science to the public and the ways in which they are working with the new administration. APA CEO Dr. Arthur Evans spoke to APA’s contributions in many areas including Artificial Intelligence. He noted that the media is starting to pick up on APA’s role related to many important issues and that they have asked APA to speak about psychological science related to these areas. 

Here is the summary of actions during the APA CoR Meeting: 

1)    APA passed the resolution titled Harnessing Psychology to Combat Racism: Adopting a Uniform Definition and Understanding. This resolution will be the beginning of the creation of subsequent APA resolutions aimed on combating racism in the areas of criminal justice, education, and healthcare. There were general comments about how the document falls short in addressing APA’s internal issues and that addressing these issues may be something we continue to see in the future. The Office of Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion and the hiring of the new Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Maysa Akbar, were perceived as great first steps in addressing systemic issues. You can access the full APA Resolution on Racism document here: 

2)    APA passed a resolution on APA, Psychology, and Human Rights. The document adopts a framework for human rights in psychology and addresses five connections between psychology and human rights and how these align with APA’s strategic plan. There was also discussion on how APA needs to be changing internally as the organization has been complicit in the past regarding human rights issues. Regardless, the resolution passed. You may read this resolution here: 

3)     APA passed a Resolution on Gender Identity Change Efforts which affirms "that scientific evidence and clinical experience indicate that Gender Identity Change Efforts (GICE) put individuals at significant risk of harm" and that "APA opposes GICE because of their association with harm." In tandem, APA passed the Resolution on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts which affirms "that same-gender and multiple-gender attraction, feelings, and behavior are normal variations in human sexuality, being LGBTQ+ is not a mental disorder, and APA opposes portrayals of sexual minorities as mentally ill because of their sexual orientation." It also states that “the APA opposes any efforts that use nonscientific explanations that stigmatize sexual orientation diversity and efforts that frame same-gender and multiple-gender orientations as unhealthy." Finally, the resolution also states that “APA opposes distortions of scientific data regarding sexual orientation in policy, judicial proceedings, media, and public opinion.” You can read the APA Resolution on Gender Identity Change Efforts here: and you can read the APA Resolution on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts here: 

4)    APA passed the Professional Practice Guidelines on Evidence-Based Psychological Practice in Health Care. There was some discussion about how evidence-based practice can, should, and does look different for ethnic/racial minorities and the Council Diversity Workgroup will be discussing this further with the Chief Diversity Officer. You can read more here: 

5)    APA passed the Standards of Accreditation for Master's Programs in Health Service Psychology. APA has already passed a resolution that allows APA to be an accrediting body for Master's Programs in March 2018, so this resolution focuses on providing the standards for how that will look. From an EDI standpoint, this will increase the pipeline of providing good care to more individuals by people who look like them. The question of what the competencies, title, and scope of practice will be for people graduating from the programs was raised, but details were not discussed in this meeting. The issue of separating education versus practice is essential to understand the passing of this resolution.  You can read more here: 

Additionally, the new Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Maysa Akbar, gave an overview of her vision for the APA Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), with a focus on the 2021 Strategic Priorities and the work ahead for EDI at APA. In short, EDI is going to be anchored as central to all of APA’s efforts. There is a lot of excitement about bringing Dr. Akbar on board and we are hopeful that this can create change within and outside APA in terms of bringing action efforts to EDI work.  

Thank you for the opportunity to be your representative in this important role.