AFT Statement – BLM

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The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice stands in solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and the campaign to address systemic racism and racial inequalities. We are committed to social justice and oppose inequalities on the basis of 'race', culture or ethnicity.

In these difficult times, we are particularly mindful of the differential impact that COVID-19 may be having on the lives of our black and minority ethnic members, and their families. We also recognise that systemic and institutionalised racism are historic and also current in UK society, resulting in the disproportionate over representation of BAME in the criminal justice system and in police interventions. We acknowledge the hurt and pain that BAME members of AFT and their communities have endured as a result of this whilst in the UK.

Through our DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion), Ethics Committee, as well as other committees, Board of AFT and Staff, we continuously strive for anti-racist practices. We aim to keep alive issues of 'race', culture, social justice and equality in our clinical practice, supervision, teaching and training. We will continue to work to ensure more training, writing and guidance for family therapists who may need to review their practice in light of recent efforts to decolonise practices. We will also continue to challenge other marginalising practices and subjugation in all its diverse forms, such as homophobia, misogyny and ageism, alongside racial oppression, wherever it may occur. AFT supports valuing diversity whilst rejecting division.

As an organisation, we take responsibility to address systemic racism from within. We will continue to explore and learn how to overcome white privilege and power that may exist within AFT. This will be through training of all AFT members, staff and volunteers to explore their own racial prejudices. We will revise our training material to take into account the political and social ideologies that create and maintain racism; thus addressing the contexts within which our clients’ lives are embedded.

We will use the death of George Floyd, Stephen Lawrence and the untimely death of many others as a reminder that we must continue to play an active role in overcoming institutional racism and prejudice in all of its forms.

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