Human Rights and Social Justice

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) acknowledges the open letter sent to us recently by psychology graduate students on the subject of social change and fighting racial injustice.

We have received many responses, from a wide range  of members and affiliates of the CPA, representing different sections, areas of expertise, and contexts.  Across these responses there are a range of concomitant and divergent points of view which require a systemic, thoughtful and holistic approach.  The CPA’s Board concurs that action is essential and we want to make sure that the action is strategic and sustainable.

The Board will meet in August to discuss the input and feedback we have received and to begin to put in place an action plan that, in alignment with the CPA’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, addresses the many different perspectives which have been put forth.

We encourage you to not only communicate to the CPA Head Office and the CPA’s Board but to actively engage in other forums available to ensure we have the widest diversity of input. These forums include an upcoming special issue of Psynopsis focused on Human Rights and Social Justice: Addressing Systematic Discrimination, Oppression and Marginalization (, and the CPA’s 2020 Virtual Series which will take place over the months of July and August ( In particular, the week of July 20th-24th will feature sessions on the theme of Human Rights and Social Justice.  All featured sessions had been accepted for inclusion in the scientific program of the CPA’s in-person convention that had been slated to take place at the end of May. Register for the series, view the sessions, and participate in an online dialogue that will explore psychology’s role and responsibility when it comes to human rights and social justice.

We appreciate all of the feedback, and the engagement, and hope to see the CPA’s membership continue to engage in this very important dialogue.

CPA’s Board of Directors and Executive Officers