On Tuesday, March 16, eight individuals were killed at three separate massage parlors in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Six of the individuals were of Asian descent. This horrific crime follows a disturbing trend of hate crimes against Asian Americans, which increased over 150% in 2020 (source). AAMFT expresses support and solidarity for the Asian community during the ongoing racist attacks and threats to their safety, dignity, and sense of security.
MFTs recognize our training, social responsibility, and position within the systems we live and work uniquely qualify us to help to impact positive change against racism:
Recognizing that relationships are fundamental to the health and well‐being of individuals, couples, families, and communities, AAMFT exists to advance the profession and the practice of marriage and family therapy. Because we value how systems impact families and communities, AAMFT is outraged by the continued racial trauma, violence, and loss that our communities of color are experiencing in this country.
Our members, our clients, and our society are hurting deeply and we must stand together and in solidarity against injustice. There is no room in our society for inequality and it is vital that we use our platform, relationships, and training to enact change. It is a core value in AAMFT to support, promote, and protect diversity, to value all individuals and groups as free from prejudice and oppression as possible, and to foster a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.
Marriage and family therapists have a direct responsibility to counter racism. We are uniquely positioned to understand and recognize the systemic effect that oppression, inequity, and overt and covert racism have on individuals in marginalized communities and have a role in fostering healing and growth. Therefore, AAMFT stands in support of our members dedicated to advancing the fundamental rights, health, safety, and well-being of all individuals, relationships, and communities. We encourage all members to have authentic dialogue to advance systemic change. As an organization, we will continue to advocate against societal inequalities and seek solutions in our clinical, research, community, and policy work to ensure that vital change is occurring.
Please find information here, to be updated on an ongoing basis, to educate yourself on recent statistics and resources to counter racism against Asian Americans:
Anti-Racism Resources for the AAPI Community (Asian American Studies, Cornell)