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King, S. (2019). President's Report. Fort Da, 25(1):4-6.
(2019). Fort Da, 25(1):4-6
Stephanie King, Psy.D.
I recently attended an event at The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SFCP) “Thinking Together About Race and Culture: Ongoing Reflections.” One of the speakers, Dr. Karim Dajani, began the discussion with a moving statement: “The task before us is basically impossible… .” This statement instantly brought a lump to my throat and simultaneously put me at ease. The lump in my throat was because I didn't want to think of this as impossible, and the ease was because if it is impossible, then I am off the hook. That is an example of white privilege/guilt happening in a split second. However, that was not the entire sentence. What Dr. Dajani actually said was,
The task before us is basically impossible — articulate in a few words a problem in our theory and practice regarding our neglect to truly consider the impact of culture on the structure and function of individuals and collectives. We do not have the time or space for an academic presentation today, so this is going to go more like a dream — relying on our mind's ability to communicate through condensation and metaphor.
I did my best to participate in the dream. I knew that one of the reasons I attended this particular event, at this moment in time, was because as the current president of NCSPP, I feel compelled to try to highlight and answer for the deep-seated racial divide that exists in our community. This task does feel impossible but, also, not.
Last year, when I was in the role of president elect, I spent a lot of time thinking about the personal and professional issues that are near and dear to my heart. I thought about how, once I was in the president role, I would try to answer these issues in a meaningful way. Being in a position of leadership means not only keeping the organization operating smoothly but also bringing into focus the issues that I believe need attention. Right now, I want to take a close look at who is at the table and who is not. Why are some at the table while others are not? I'm not trying to be clever here; I'm talking about diversity and inclusion. I want to think about the problem of whiteness within the field of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychology.
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