BPRG's STATEMENT OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, CHANGE & SOLIDARITY

The BPRG stands in unwavering solidarity with the Black community and supports all who work towards racial equality and social justice. In order to become an anti-racist organization, we recognize that we must not only propagate novel findings in research and clinical practice, but also root out and combat inequalities and systemic racism within the world of psychedelics research.

In our efforts to promote racial and social justice, we as a field are grappling with numerous conundrums about how to proceed with our work in an ethical manner. How do we create financially sustainable organizations and encourage innovation while ensuring that the people and communities from which many psychedelic medicines are derived receive their deserved acknowledgment and compensation? What are the effects--both positive and negative--of transnational psychedelic tourism on local communities? How do we create a strong biomedical evidence base for these treatments in order to legitimize them within the mainstream medical community and make a compelling argument for their coverage by third-party payers, while respectfully incorporating non-biomedical epistemologies of health and disease into our clinical

practice? How can we ensure that these potentially life-saving medications are legalized as quickly as possible while also ensuring that they are accessible to and affordable for all who need them? How can we increase the diversity of patients, research participants, and care providers in order to better reflect the demographics of our nation’s population?

There are no easy answers to these questions, but the BPRG is committed to promoting and enacting change. We can and will use our unique role as an organization dedicated to the education, promotion, and advancement of psychedelic research to create an open and inclusive forum for intellectual discussion and debate around these issues. While discussion

alone is not enough, it is a crucial first step in our efforts to undo the racial, economic, and other structural inequalities in our society that are rooted in centuries of systemic racism, colonialism, oppression, and trauma.

Specifically, we are starting with several immediate measures, including:

  • Continuing to work with our Diversity, Outreach, and Inclusion (DOI) affinity group to develop a more inclusive society and lower the barriers for diverse populations to enter and benefit from the field of psychedelic research.

  • Organizing a conference/webinar on Diversity, Outreach, and Inclusion in psychedelic research to be held in October 2020 [exact date TBD].

  • Inviting a diverse range of speakers to our regular meetings in order to address topics such as racial trauma, unequal access to treatment, structural violence of contemporary drug policy, and the integration of indigenous perspectives into psychedelic therapy

  • Crafting a list of recommended topics related to issues of race, access to care, and structural violence, that we will ask all presenters to address going forward

  • Developing platforms to examine and critique psychedelic research through a racial equity and social justice lens.

We recognize this is a long and ongoing process requiring constant vigilance from both the BPRG leadership and its members. To assist us with this work, several BPRG members have formed an offshoot affinity group focused on diversity, outreach, and inclusion within psychedelic research. If you wish to get involved directly, please reach out to Mackenzie Bullard (bullard@bu.edu).

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