Ongoing: Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing

Additional Resources

Summary of planned activities


This initiative was launched in September 2020 to open discussion that focused on coming to terms with racism in nursing – a “reckoning” that acknowledges the reality and begins a process of healing and change. 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 this project 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.

The events that are now in place to continue this initiative grew out of the initial discussions in the Fall of 2020, when nurses of color shared their experiences and hopes for the future. These discussions gave rise to each of the events and activities that are now in place, or being planned for the future!

Principles of Reckoning

All of the activities related to “Overdue Reckoning” are guided by our Principles of Reckoning, which take a bold anti-racist stand for nursing. Our principles are:

  • We claim the courage to join together through the experience of building our anti-racist capacity nursing.
  • We cherish the contributions and honor the voices of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other Nurses of Color (BILNOC), and yield the floor to their voices throughout our time together.
  • We recognize that we cannot move forward without a deep understanding of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other nurses of color experiences with racism. 
  • The insights and recommendations of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other nurses of color are vital to ground our thinking, and to guide our actions. 
  • We pledge to listen deeply and with respect to any and all expressions of anger, rage, despair and grief arising from racism.
  • We commit to healing those harmed by racism.
  • We seek to nurture authentic anti-racist awareness.
  • We will inspire and nurture action, as we boldly claim an anti-racist identity for nursing.

BILNOC Zoom Meetings

Initial dates: November 14 and December 5th, 4 to 5:30 pm Eastern

The BILNOC Reckoning Zoom Meetings bring together Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other Nurses of Color to explore avenues for further antiracism actions. These discussions will include ideas for personal, family, workplace, and larger community and organizational change. All are welcome to join with the understanding that BILNOC nurses will take the lead in these discussions. Register here.

Moving Beyond “White Fragility” for Nurses – January 9th, 16th and 23rd 2021, from 4 to 5:30 pm Eastern

This is a 3-part workshop for nurses – “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing: Moving BEYOND ‘White Fragility‘” with Nanette D. Massey This workshop is focused on honest and effective conversations about race inspired by Robin DiAngelos’ book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. This workshop is open to all, but is focused on providing white nurses an opportunity to explore and understand ways racism persists even when the intention is to not “be racist,” and how to change these patterns. Details and Registration here

Ongoing discussions “Overdue Reckoning on Racism in Nursing” every first Saturday Starting February 2021!

Register here!

Mark your calendar for the first Saturdays starting on February 6, 2021! Time 4 – 5:30 pm Eastern. When you register you will receive a confirmation notice and email providing the Zoom login information. The format for these discussions will evolve over time, but for now will remain the same as the initial series of discussions, which is:

Lucinda Canty
  • Lucinda Canty will host each discussion and will serve as the lead facilitator. Christina Nyirati, Jessica Dillard-Wright and Peggy Chinn will serve as support facilitators and monitor the Zoom “chat.” (See bio information here)
  • The facilitators will take the lead in assuring that the principles of reckoning guide our focus and that all voices are heard, with priority to voices of nurses of color.
  • Peace and Power processes will inform our discussions ( The exact structure will vary depending on the number of participants, but will open by passing the “chair” to nurses of color to speak in any way they wish, and for everyone else to listen, reflect and consider the meaning of the speaker’s words.
  • Our process is guided more specifically by our “Zoom-Keeping” guidelines.
  • We will use the Zoom “chat” to post questions and comments that otherwise might interrupt the flow of the discussion. White nurses are encouraged to use “chat” to ask questions and contribute comments.
    • “Chat” will also be used share resources, indicate the need for follow-through, or any other brief comment that a participant wishes to share.
    • The facilitators will assure that all “chat” entries are attended to, either during the discussion or in some form of follow-through.
  • We will be mindful of any instance during the discussions that indicate the need for personal or small group follow-through, including a need for additional emotional support, or support for action.