Invitation: Nursing Activism Think Tank!

Interest Form

Event: A NurseManifest Think Tank organized by Peggy Chinn,  Adeline Falk-Rafael, and Sue Hagedorn. Dates: July 30-31, 2018

We are very excited to invite you to participate in a Nursing Activism Think Tank – a gathering of nurses who have a passion for action that brings nursing values to the center, creates change to realize social justice in nursing, healthcare, and the populations we serve, and builds networks of support for activism in nursing at every level.  Our specific goal is very broad – to brainstorm what might be possible, and follow those possibilities wherever they might lead.  

We are concerned that although we have a strong legacy in nursing of significant activism, in today’s environment there is very little support for nurses who feel an urgency to address grassroots problems.  A few examples –

  • Lack of networks of support for those who take risks in the public arena, who might run for public office, who recognize situations where urgent change is needed, and eventually become discouraged and abandon nursing altogether.
  • Lack of educational opportunities that nurture nursing activism, and even devalue activism (such as negative attitudes toward unions, lack of learning activities focused on serving disenfranchised populations)
  • Lack of education and certification avenues to prepare for nursing roles to promote social justice in nursing and healthcare.
  • Still-present oppressive environments in many workplaces where nursing priorities, voices and actions are not valued.

We want to be part of changing these circumstances, and so we are reaching out to other nurses to support one another in making change. We envision a small group, but we do not want to limit participation. We simply ask that all who come are eager, passionate and ready to join others in a cooperative spirit of solidarity to engage with activism in nursing.  If you know someone who shares your ideas and vision who might also want to come along, they are welcome to also participate (each person needs to complete an Interest Form – details below).

We envision a two-day gathering with a very flexible structure – building on each person’s stories that reflect passion, commitment and visions for social activism. We are asking each participant to bring a photograph or object around which to explore your personal story, from which we will build visions for future possibilities. The first day of our gathering will focus on developing our stories – a process that will be facilitated by staff from the Nurstory Project. The stories can be used eventually to develop a digital story, which will be introduced as part of the process. The next whole day will focus on developing our visions as a group. Throughout, we anticipate some time looking back at the work of nurses who have created the legacy of nursing activism – a legacy that can inspire what we envision today.

Here are the details:

Dates: all day, July 30-31, 2018. If you are traveling from a distant location, you will need to arrive late in the afternoon July 29th. The Think Tank gathering will begin at 9 am on Monday morning. Departure can be as early as late afternoon on July 31st, but staying the evening will extend the time for networking and developing ongoing relationships!

Location: University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing The nearby Campus Center has several options for food, meeting rooms and parking; and the hotel is also contained within the Center.  

Lodging:  You can stay at the Hotel UMass, located in the Amherst Campus Center, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003.  Phone: 866-238-4218. For reservations, call or go online:  The rate is $149 per night, plus tax and recovery fees, prepaid.  You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of your booking for a full refund; after the 24 hour advance time, you are charged for 1 night plus tax and fees. There are other hotels and motels in and around Amherst, as well as campgrounds, and B&B locations!  

Cost: There is no registration cost involved. We are exploring possibilities for funding to help support travel and lodging expenses, but you may need to cover all of your own expenses for travel, lodging and meals.  If you can only participate if there is funding, please let us know (the interest form has a place for this!)

Travel and transportation:  If you fly, the closest airport is Hartford/Springfield Bradley (1 hour drive to Campus Center). Boston Logan is also an option (2 hour drive to Campus Center). For those who fly, we will help work out shared transportation to the campus as needed.  If you drive, parking at the campus center is convenient and easy to locate.

What to bring:  Bring a photograph (2 or 3 if you wish) or an object from which to develop your story that conveys your passions and concerns related to activism in nursing. Don’t worry if the story itself is not clear in your mind – that will happen as part of the experience!

It will be summer in Western Massachusetts – but the Campus Center is air conditioned – so plan on layers for inside and casual outdoor summer clothing! There will be no “dress up” occasions!

Need more information?  Just ask!  Use our contact form for the Nursing Activism Think Tank

Seriously Interested?  Fill out our online Interest FormWe will confirm your registration within a few days, and will make sure you receive announcements and further information along the way!


9 thoughts on “Invitation: Nursing Activism Think Tank!

  1. Pingback: Nurses who inspire our activism! | NurseManifest

  2. Pingback: More important information – Nursing Activism Think Tank! | NurseManifest

  3. Pingback: Launching Today – Inspirations for Activism – Part II | NurseManifest

  4. disappointed that this seminar was months ago, will it be offered again? The Pacific Northwest is great in July and Aug of 2019! Come out this way!


    • Thanks for the invite Marilyn! This was a wonderful event – not exactly a seminar but a true think tank. We are expecting others to organize similar think tanks all over the country!! Follow our blog for updates!


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