Brenda Kucirka (1961 – )


Inspiration for Activism Part II –

  • Tireless Advocate for marginalized and vulnerable populations in the Chester PA community; Assistant Professor at Widener University, Chester PA (see Widener Magazine 2016 — Vol. 26, No. 1)
  • Nurse educator and Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist with a passion for social justice and decreasing stigma and oppression. I strive to educate nurses who embrace the role of change agent and advocate willing to step into the space between call and response with eyes and ear wide open.
  • Recipient of the Widener University 2018 Civic Engagement Award
  • Trained as an Inside Out Instructor in 2015
  • Teaches a Social Justice and Advocacy Inside Out Prison Exchange Course at SCI Chester, a medium security prison in Chester, PA. (see photo below of the the outside student cohort from the Widener University School of Nursing Fall 2018 Social Justice & Advocacy Inside Out Prison Exchange Course – used by permission)
  • Advocated for college credits to be awarded to incarcerated individuals enrolled in the Inside Out Prison Exchange course.
  • Originally a community-based service learning course, The Advocacy and Social Justice service learning course was redesigned as an Inside Out Prison Exchange Course in 2017. The course has been recognized as a high impact teaching practice that has was presented at the NLN Summit in 2018.

MY STORY

I have always been drawn to those who are misunderstood, misrepresented and stigmatized. I find my calling to be one of bearing witness, stepping into the spaces and places that society finds unacceptable or unworthy. I am always inspired by and grateful to those who share their stories with me.

My activism has grown out of a deep concern for issues of social justice and a desire to support marginalized populations in Chester PA by confronting injustice and health disparities. I am moved by the power of one’s narrative & seek to provide a venue for validating and valuing the voice of vulnerable and marginalized populations. My work in the community and with students has been focused on facilitating the development of self-compassion and self-empowerment

My work focuses on social justice as a fundamental human right that is central to nursing and the core values of nursing. It has been my privilege to be in a position in which I have earned the respect of students, colleagues and my community through my work in the area of social justice. I strive to inspire those I encounter to find their voice and to use their voice to advocate for self and others. I believe the work I am doing will have a ripple effect as students enter the profession with a sense of compassion for self and others as well as the intention to seek social justice for those they care for and their communities.

VOLUNTEERISM AND CIVIC ENGAGMENT:

  • Volunteers at Threshold of Delaware County teaching decision making skills to incarcerated individuals
  • Volunteers at City Team Ministries in Chester PA providing staff supervision and group psychotherapy and psychoeducation for men in the Rescue and Recovery Program
  • Volunteers at the State Correctional Institute in Chester PA facilitating mental health and wellness seminars for men in the Transitional Housing Unit as well as those serving juvenile life sentences and life sentences.
  • Advisory Board member for Providence House, a Clubhouse providing psychosocial rehabilitation in the community. Established a partnership with the Widener School of Nursing and Providence House to provide psychoeducation and an annual health and wellness fair for clubhouse members.
  • Serves on the City of Chester’s Reentry Committee

The outside student cohort from the Widener University School of Nursing Fall 2018 Social Justice & Advocacy Inside Out Prison Exchange Course.

 

Peace, and nurse power for the holidays!


As the lead blogger for the NurseManifest project, I wish all of our followers peace and power for the holidays!  We are taking a holiday break from our weekly blog schedule featuring inspirations for activism, but we will return no later than January 8th!   We are looking forward to a new year with growing nursing activism both large and small! The very existence of our “Inspiration for Activism” blog series is in itself a manifestation of nursing activism. Just to browse through both the Part I and the growing Part II galleries provides a landscape of the breadth and depth of influence that nurses have had, and continue to have, in relation to health and well-being!

If you have not yet shared your story of nurse activism, we want to hear from you!  We have a handy form that you can use to start the process!  Fill out what you can on the form, and we will work with you to add you and your activism to this very important record!  If you need inspiration, browse our Part II and Part I “inspiration” galleries!

Here’s to 2019 Nurse Manifesting!  Peggy

Reminder – Civility Project Survey


Reminder!  Piri, Louisa, and I are conducting a study to learn more about experiences with incivility in nursing learning environments, as well as to identify strategies for promoting a culture of civility. We are still accepting responses, and hope to hear from you before the end of the year!

Please click here to learn more about who we are, how this study developed, and why we decided to pursue this topic.

We hope you will take 10-15 minutes to complete a 9-question survey, share your insights, and help nurses and future nurses learn in a culture of civility. This study is open to all nurses. You get to decide if you want to answer as a student or a faculty member. You don’t have to be either right now, just think back to when you were last in the classroom or clinical learning environment.

Click here to begin the survey.

Thank you, in advance, for helping nurses learn and grow, with a goal of making learning environments welcoming and respectful for all.

Another Nurse Activism Think Tank on the horizon! July 13-14, Augusta GA


Jessica Dillard-Wright and Vanessa Haas-Shields are cooking up another nursing activism think tank!  They just announced the location and dates on the new website RadicalNurses.com!  Here is what they posted:

Jessica

. . . sustained through our collaborative efforts here at radicalnurses.com, and emboldened by the power of sharing our ideas, we would like to announce our very own nurse activism think tank. We are calling it “Activism and the Art of Nursing” and we want you to join us. We know that nursing is an art. We know many of you are artists. We want to explore the idea of the art of nursing and the connections between art, activism, and nursing. So save the dates – July 13 and 14 in Augusta, Georgia – and sign up here

Vanessa

(https://goo.gl/forms/Mt8MMjFW7V5ORT5s1) to stay in the loop. More details to follow. We are very excited and hope to see you this summer.  (see the full post here)

This is exactly what everyone involved last summer hoped could happen going forward!!!  Follow RadicalNurses to find out more, and if you are interested in doing something similar in your area – go for it!!  Let us know of your ideas and plans and we will support what you do in any way we can!!