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Anti-Racism Task Force
UBC School of Nursing Creates an Anti-Racism Task Force
As a School, we have a longstanding commitment to health equity, supported by our Canadian nursing code of ethics; this includes an obligation and responsibility to dismantle systemic and interpersonal racism in all contexts. In alignment with UBC’s stance on racism, the School of Nursing is pleased to announce the formation of an Anti-Racism Task Force. Please visit this page often for updates on upcoming activities and events posted in the coming weeks.
- To take actions to acknowledge, address and create accountability for dismantling the racism that permeates our societies and institutions.
- To build a welcoming, diverse School of Nursing for all, and
- To be a model and facilitator of structural change throughout the university and health care.
- Create a culture of anti-racism
- Embed an anti-racism orientation in all structures, policies, and practices
- Build the capacity of all faculty, staff and students to
- contribute to an anti-racism culture and
- to promote an equitable academy, nursing profession, and health care system,
- Engage diverse stakeholder communities.
The Anti-Racism Task Force will provide the School-wide consultation and strategic guidance in relation to action in these particular areas:
- Organizational environment and culture in academia and health care
- Undergraduate and graduate curricula
- Student experience from recruitment to graduation
- Faculty experience, including recruitment, engagement and development across teaching and research streams
- Staff experience including recruitment, engagement and development across administration, student services, and research staff
- Representation of the SON within UBC and APSC Indigenous and equity diversity and inclusion initiatives
- Engagement of diverse community partners, alumni and leaders
Until quite recently, discussions about the effects of systemic racism in nursing and healthcare were not seen as warranted, prudent, or even evidence-informed. Times have shifted; I’m therefore eager to discuss the role and responsibility of nursing in counteracting ongoing forms of systemic racism in our societies - and in our health care systems.
Meaningfully tackling racism in nursing is long overdue. As Moorely et al write, “There is no need for more ‘inquiries’ or commissions. The time for ‘further research’ or ‘working through issues’ has long passed; no more ‘diversity trophies’, ‘pledges’, ‘awareness-raising workshops’, or happy placards are needed.” (2020, p.2). We need action and structural change.
For me, white privilege means that as a Caucasian nurse, I can walk into any room, any community, any classroom, and automatically be granted a level of trust and respect. This is the historical "power of normal" at work. This trust and respect are not granted to all automatically. Because of this, and the history of this, racism and systemic racism exists. I believe that anti-racism is the act of supporting the development in every person a subconscious knowledge and feeling of safety despite who they are; and this starts with recognizing white privilege. With this recognition, I feel that remaining silent in the presence of racial inequity only perpetuates white privilege.
The ongoing impacts of colonialism, racism and sexism on the health and well-being of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada cannot be understated. As nurses who have been affected by these legacies as well as contributed to these harms, we have an obligation to lead the way toward health equity for all. It is not good enough to be non-racist; nurses must commit to anti-racism.
It’s time to make more visible what has been so invisible for such a long time: system racism. With each of us taking action against racism, we will be on our way to creating positive structural changes in nursing and beyond.
- A 6-month work plan has been developed.
- A series of discussions will be held, inviting all students, staff and faculty to participate in providing input on short and long-term goals and strategies.