Statement on Racism

08 Jun 2020

As nurses, as a School of Nursing, we cannot and should not remain silent when acts of racist violence and hatred affect the health and lives of people in our communities. We stand together in condemning all acts of racism, including anti-Black, anti-Asian, and anti-Indigenous racism. We especially condemn the structural racism and violence enacted by those in positions of public service, including in law enforcement, in health care, and in universities.

We recognize that over our 100 years as a School on unceded lands, we have been part of systems of entrenched racism and white privilege, even while our commitment as nurses is to promote health for all. We must continue to work together to eliminate racist practices and oppressive systems in nursing, and in nursing education. As a School, we have a longstanding commitment to health equity, supported by our Canadian nursing code of ethics, which calls on nurses to “improve systems and societal structures to create greater equity and better health.” We reaffirm our intentions to work with others to transform education, health care, and society—including here at UBC.

This is a time to intensify our efforts. As Director of the School, I commit to bringing together faculty, staff and students within the next two weeks to listen, to reflect, to share our progress already made, to identify further actions we will take together in standing against racism, and to develop a timeline for those actions. I will work with you to create a more inclusive School community, where we celebrate and draw on the diversity that is our strength.

Elizabeth Saewyc
Professor & Director