Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing


We are excited to announce a series of web discussions “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing” starting on September 12th, and every week through October 10th! This initiative is in part an outgrowth of our 2018 Nursing Activism Think Tank and inspired by recent spotlights on the killing of Black Americans by police, and the inequitable devastation for people of color caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racism in nursing has persisted far too long, sustained in large part by our collective failure to acknowledge the contributions and experiences of nurses of color. The intention of each session is to bring the voices of BILNOC (Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other Nurses Of Color) to the center, to explore from that center the persistence of racism in nursing, and to inspire/form actions to finally reckon with racism in nursing.

Lucinda Canty, Christina Nyirati and I (Peggy Chinn) have teamed up to create the plan – you can see the details here; it is also easily accessed from the main menu above!

14 thoughts on “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing

  1. Thank you, Peggy. I’m chair of the emeriti/emeritae and retiree group at Capital University. We are organizing a Zoom Town Hall for faculty, staff and retirees with the intent of speaking boldly/acting purposefully about institutional racism in higher ed. In nursing in Ohio, the Governor appointed a “strike force” on racism in healthcare and excluded the Ohio Nurses Association. ONA asked to be included, we are outraged.

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  2. I remember attending the July workshop at UMass Amherat and hearing someone commenting on the student demographics at UMass Amherst, deferring to “Blond Ponytails.” I thought that was inappropriate at the time and still do. Also I think it’s important for nursing schools to support Roxbury Communuty College’s nursing’s program which was there for students of color but needs support. When their accreditation was removed a while back I mentioned to Lorena Silva, the MA BORN’s Executive Director, that that was a pity. She asked why. I said because we need nurses of color in the workforce and RCC could have and should have been supported more. She then said “Why? I’m a nurse of color! (Implying “look at me.” I think that’s an appalling example of institutional racism baked into an important institution.

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  3. How great to hear from you Doris! You make me think of how excited JoAnn Ashley would be that this is happening! I always love being transported into memories of our brief – but so important and significant – time together with JoAnn at Wright State!

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  4. Wonderful. Sharing with my Nurse Coach Connection FB group. This has been in discussion and appreciate the opportunity this series provides. Warm regards Jackie Levin

    Sent from my iPhone

    >>

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  5. Thanks for doing this. I am sharing it widely and plan to attend at least a few of the sessions. Dr. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist will be required reading for my pre-licensure public health nursing course this autumn. Also, we are partnering with StoryCenter and Nurstory to offer online digital storytelling workshops focused on racism and bias in nursing and health care. I recently made my own brief video about this as a white Southerner, nurse, and nurse educator. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgPz5GejhG4

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  6. Try being told by your instructor as a young black student nurse that she has never seen a black student when she was a student or black student that she taught make a good nurse.

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    • Horrendous. We must acknowledge that this happens, and do all we can to make sure this is called out and stopped. I hope you will share more of your story as we move through this process — you can email me (peggychinn at gmail.com) to reserve a time, or let us know when a discussion starts that you want to speak.

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    • Thank you so much for saying this. Black students are still being told this, not all as blatant, but through the actions of their instructors, advisors or professors. Through policies and procedures. I have also been a victim of this throughout my nursing education (all the way up to the Ph.D. level!). That is the reason why I want to participate in these sessions. We need to bring awareness and action to racism. I want people to see, not only that we were able to survive, but also that we proved them wrong. Thank you! I appreciate your posts.

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  7. Pingback: Upcoming Learning Series – Learning to be Nurse McGhee

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