© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

American Psychiatric Association Turns Inward, Recognizes Nearly 2 Centuries Of Racism In Profession

The American Psychiatric Association is trying to come to terms with what it calls an appalling history of racism, both within the organization and in its treatment of patients. (Getty Images)
The American Psychiatric Association is trying to come to terms with what it calls an appalling history of racism, both within the organization and in its treatment of patients. (Getty Images)

The American Psychiatric Association is trying to come to terms with, and overcome, what it calls an appalling history of racism, both within the organization and in its treatment of patients.

The association points back as far as the 18th century when enslaved people were diagnosed with drapetomania, a disease they said caused “Negroes to run away."

Last summer, out-going president Jeffrey Geller published a report detailing that history, and this past weekend, the APA held its annual convention, a virtual gathering for more than 10,000 people who spent three days grappling with racism.

Now, the organization is focusing on how to move forward. Host Robin Young talks to Dr. Cheryl Wills, the psychiatrist who chaired the APA’s task force on racism.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.