Dear Society Members,
We are writing to affirm that we stand in solidarity against racism, discrimination, and inequity of all kinds, in the United States and around the globe. We see and recognize the way that racism and unjust treatment impact the daily lives of Black people, indigenous people, people of color, and minority groups, with substantial consequences for mental health.
Our society has a special responsibility to be vigilant around the issues of social justice. Our field of psychiatric genetics was deeply entwined early in the 20th century with the field of eugenics, which led to the tragic sterilization of psychiatric patients in many nations, and even the murder of some. The echoes of this dark period in our field can still at times be heard.
Current events lead us to recommit with renewed vigor our efforts to support and promote diversity within our ranks. While we recently formed a Global Diversity Committee, which is active and growing, have set up a system of reduced registration fees for attendees from lower income countries, and offer travel awards that consider equal opportunity issues, we acknowledge we can do more. Given the continuing impact and toll of racism and inequity, our council will be reviewing potential additional investment in these programs.
The ISPG Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Action (IDEA) Committee developed the statement below as a strategic goal of the society, and our Board formally adopted it in 2019 to recognize the importance of inclusiveness within the psychiatric genetics field.
Recognizing that diversity drives innovation and progress in science, the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics strives to promote inclusivity and equity for all, regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religious affiliation, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. We endeavor to create an environment of inclusivity, diversity, and equality through initiatives including consideration of presenters and chairs at our annual conference, mentorship opportunities, representation on our board of directors, delegation of duties, and education to the public.
While we are a society focused on the study of genetics, we also know that for most of the phenotypes we study, environment makes a difference too. We encourage everyone to strive to make the environment that helps shape us, as fair and just for each citizen of our planet as it can be.
The ISPG Board of Directors