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.

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

Carolyn McCarthy (1944 – )

Inspiration for Activism

  • Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 4th district. In office Carolyn_McCarthy_2012_portraitJanuary 3, 1997 – January 3, 2015.
  • Tireless advocate for gun control
  • Pursued legislation benefiting the elderly, including hearing loss detection, prevention & treatment, pushing for affordable hearing devices for all.
  • Fought for special education and health services for children
  • Always stated in interviews: “I am a nurse and I look at the issues from a nursing perspective.

More information

See the recent policy statement on gun violence from the American Academy of Nursing

Cathy Crowe (1952 – )

#3 “Inspiration for Activism”

  • Canadian nursing activist
  • Appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada (1998) for her tireless work in advocating for adequate and affordable housing and in its absence, advocacy for safe and sufficient shelters for homeless people
  • Co-founded (1998) with other social justice advocates, the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC), which equated homeless, a social disaster, with natural disasters
  • Co-founder of Nurses for Social Responsibility and co-editor of its magazine “Towards Justice in Health”
  • Wrote 2 books and participated in numerous documentary films about homelessness
  • Put forward a number of resolutions to professional nursing organizations, urging them to take action on a variety of social injustices witnessed by nurses who care for homeless and disenfranchised people
  • Speaks truth to power – policy makers, newsmakers

Visit Cathy’s website more information