Lillian Wald (1867-1940)

Inspiration for Activism!

  • Advocate for public health, children’s and women’s health and rights, and peace.
  • Began a visiting nurses’ service in 1883 and opened Henry Street Settlement to provide further assistance to poor people in 1885 and simultaneously lobbied to change socio-economic conditions that contributed to poor health.
  • Founded public health nursing, including school nursing and rural health programs.
  • Established Women’s Trade Union League in 1903 and lobbied for the Children’Bureau, which was established in 1912 to address child labour and welfare.
  • In 1914, led a march of 1000 women to protest World War I.
  • Published the book “The House on Henry Street” in 1915 – still available here.

More information here and here and here.

See information about the new 2018 book LILLIAN WALD : America’s Great Social and Healthcare Reformer by Paul M. Kaplan!

Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Inspiration for Activism!

  •  Radical political anarchist, activist feminist heroine, nurse, editor, writer, teacher, jailbird and general trouble-maker
  • Insisted on the fundamental connections between and among wide-ranging, burning political and social issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality.
  • Became convinced that birth control was essential to women’s sexual and economic freedom when she worked as a nurse and midwife among poor immigrant workers on the Lower East Side in the 1890s.
  • Became a mentor to Margaret Sanger, but insisted that birth control needed to be addressed in the context of the broad social, economic, and political forces that led to its suppression.
  • In 1906 established the periodical Mother Earth, to provide “a place of expression for the young idealists in arts and letters”
  • The Emma Goldman Clinic, a women’s health center located in Iowa City, Iowa, selected Goldman as a namesake “in recognition of her challenging spirit.”  See clinic welcome video

More information here and here. See Emma Goldman Papers resource here


Ethel Johns (1879-1968)

  • Canadian nurse advocate for nursing education and gender and racial equality.
  • In 1919, established first Canadian baccalaureate program at University of

    Ethel Johns

    British Columbia.

  • Provided consultation in the U.S. and Europe, establishing Schools of Nursing in both countries.
  • Hired by the Rockefeller Foundation to study status of African American women in nursing. Her report advocated for increased educational and employment opportunities for Black women but her recommendations were not acted upon until the 1980s.
  • Report highlighted racial inequality in nursing education and employment, particularly the exploitation of Black nursing students.

More information here.

Marcie Cooper

  •  Served as one of the original board members for the American Cannabis Nurses Association (2014-2016).
  • Became discouraged about the limitations of med-surg and oncology hospital care, turned to home care for a more personalized approach to

    Marcie Cooper

    care, and ultimately to holistic nursing.

  • Certified in Advanced Holistic Nursing.
  • Builds a bridge between conventional healthcare and holistic nursing care that includes cannabis therapeutics.
  • Includes various complementary therapies such as hypnotherapy, auricular acupuncture, healing touch and aromatherapy.
  • Teaches Geriatric Nursing and Transcultural Nursing in a BSN Nursing program, practices in hospice and palliative care, and provides consultation related to holistic nursing and the use of cannabis.

More information here, here and here.

Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail (1903-1981)

  • One of the first Apsáalooke (Crow) people to achieve a higher education, and the first Crow registered nurse in the United States
  • Worked diligently to modernize the health services offered to her tribe

    Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail

    and fight the forced sterilization of Native American women.

  • For over 30 years (1930-1960) served as a consultant throughout the United States to improve services to Native American populations; her wit and open candore opened many doors and earned her the respect of many political leaders.
  • Passionately dedicated to the health and welfare of children and mothers.
  • Performed worldwide as a dancer in the Crow Indian Ceremonial Dancers troupe, preserving and advocating for Native American culture and values.
  • Founded the first professional association of Native American nurses.
  • Named in 1978 by the American Indian Nurses Association the “Grandmother of American Indian Nurses.”

More information here, here,  here, here, and here

Also see