Breaking: Report of new study on nurses and the media!


The original Woodhull Study raised awareness that the voices and perspectives of nurses, the nation’s largest group of health professionals, were largely invisible. Twenty years later, researchers revisited that landmark study on May 8, 2018, to determine whether nurses’ representation has improved or remained static.  Sadly the outcome shows the situation is worse – but also revealed keys to changing this going forward.  For more information, go here.  Watch for our “Inspiration for Activism” feature coming tomorrow of Diana Mason, leader of the study team!

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)


Inspiration for Activism! 

  • Worked as a visiting nurse in Henry Street Settlement.
  • Fierce advocate for measures to improve the health of poor people. In 1912 she participated in labour action in textile workers’ strike, and wrote a column in “The Call” on women’s sexuality.
  • Coined the term birth control in 1914.
  • Realizing knowledge of and access to contraception was a socio-economic issue, she challenged governmental censure of contractive information by civil disobedience.
  • Indicted in 1914 for violating postal obscenity laws and fled to England for a year to avoid imprisonment.
  • In 1916, Sanger opened the first U.S. birth control clinic (for which she spent 30 days in jail).
  • Founded American Birth Control League, later to become Planned Parenthood.
  • Global role in promoting birth control, e.g., India and Japan, although pronatalist fascist movements impeded progress during WWII.
  • In 1925, Sanger arranged for American manufacture of spring-form diaphrams, and
  • Fostered research into development of spermicidal jellies and foam powders.
  • In the 1950s, secured funding for development of the birth control pill.

More information here

 

Dorothea Fox Jakob (1946 – )


Inspiration for Activism! 

  • American-born public health nurse; emigrated to Canada in 1973.
  • Strong social justice advocate, particularly anti-child poverty advocacy.

    Dorothea Fox-Jakob

  • Played a key role as public health nurse in Toronto, in identifying electric kettles as a key factor in elevated lead levels among infants. Reporting of her observations led to safety standards for electric kettles across the country.
  • Wrote letters to editors in newspapers, lobbied elected officials as well as the professional nursing association (RNAO) regarding the impact of child poverty on health.
  • Represented RNAO in a meeting on child poverty that led to the establishment of Campaign 2000, a public education and anti-child poverty advocacy group that still exists today.
  • As a member of the Nurses for Social Responsibility, participated in various protest and educational activities focused on the advancement of health equity.
  • Strong believer that the essence of nursing is to bear witness to what we see and speak truth to power.

Nurses for Social Responsibility (1985-1995)


Inspiration for Activism

  • A group of nurses, mostly from Toronto, ON who organized to become a distinct and unified nursing voice to speak out on social issues that

    Nurses for Social Responsibility

    influenced health

  • Lobbied professional nursing organizations to take action on a range of issues, such as multilateral nuclear disarmament and child poverty
  • Formed coalitions with like-minded non-nursing activist organizations advocating for women’s health, gender equality, peace
  • Demonstrated support for controversial issues, e.g. abortion rights, needle-exchange programs
  • Engaged in civil disobedience to shut down, temporarily at least, an “arms fair” protest the selling of arms to brutal dictatorships
  • Took positions opposed to violence against women, economic globalization, racism
  • Exposed nursing workplace issues, such as nursing cutbacks, preferential treatment of physicians over nurses, and racism
  • Published a newsletter initially, then later a magazine sold in news outlets across the country – “Towards Justice in Health”

Free download through April, 2018 – article providing a critical review of  “Towards Justice in Health” magazine – Falk-Rafael, A. R., & Bradley, P. A. (2014). “Towards justice in health”: an exemplar of speaking truth to power. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science, 37(3), 224–234. https://doi.org/10.1097/ANS.0000000000000034

Christine Tanner (1947 – )


Inspiration for Activism

  • Led campaigns in Oregon for LGBTQ rights, including legalizing marriage
  • Currently leading campaign for single payer medical coverage for all
  • Editor of the Journal of Nursing Education from 1991-2012
  • Led development in Oregon for seamless progression from Associate Degree to Baccalaureate degree in nursing that has become a model nationally

More information here and here