Let’s Talk about Anti-Black Racism and Discrimination in Nursing

Oct 18, 2021, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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About this Event:

When: Every third Monday of the month 

This is a monthly webinar series designed for members of the public interested in receiving updates on RNAO’s Black Nurses Task Force and to engage them in meaningful conversations that will inform the work of the Task Force. The Black Nurses Task Force has a mandate to tackle anti-Black racism and discrimination within the nursing profession.

Although people of all races are entitled to legislated protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982 and the Canadian Human Rights Act, 1977, Black people are not guaranteed true protection from systemic racism in all sectors (health care, business, politics, etc.), academic institutions (universities, colleges) and organizations. Black nurses are subject to racism in all of the aforementioned sectors, institutions and organizations, as racism continues to be deeply embedded in the health system and structures within Ontario.

On June 3, 2020, RNAO released a statement to address the devastating death of George Floyd and all who have experienced anti-Black racism and violence. RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun expressed that “we must put a spotlight on injustice, and mobilize to enact real change”. Our COVID-19: Webinar Series focused on the topic of Let’s Talk about Racism on June 15, 2020, as a group of passionate nurses engaged in meaningful conversations about experiences of and solutions to tackle systemic racism in Ontario and within our health system.

Read more about our Black Nurses Task Force in Toronto Star: Told they didn’t ‘fit the look,’ called the n-word: Now, the Black Nurses Task Force at RNAO helps deconstruct racism in nursing

Upcoming webinars

Details coming soon.

    Past webinars

    Oct. 18, 2021

    Topic: The Lived Experiences of Black Nurses Using Mental Health Services in Ontario


    • identify barriers in accessing mental health services in Ontario
    • explore strategies to access mental health services in Ontario
    • discuss resources that assist Black nurses in accessing mental health services


    • Dania Versailles, RN, MScN, CPMHN (C), Director of Clinical Services of Outreach, Canadian Mental Health Association - Ottawa
    • Amina Joseph, RPN
    • Nadeisha Pinnock, RN, APN, MN

    May 17, 2021

    Topic: An intergenerational conversation: addressing anti-Black racism


    • provide a deeper awareness of anti-Black racism's impact in the 21st century;
    • begin to bridge the generational gap within nursing through social justice; and
    • identify practical action steps for measurable and transformational outcomes using a millennial lens.


    • Nadia Prendergast, RN, LCCE, PhD, Assistant Professor at York University and Childbirth Educator at Mount Sinai Hospital
    • Leanne Prendergast, MSc, President and Co-Founder of Love our Lives

    April 19, 2021

    Topic: Recruiting, retaining and advancing Black nurses


    • generate awareness on the underrepresentation of Black nurses in leadership and executive roles in health care;
    • describe strategies to incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion in hiring processes;
    • explore best practices and effective strategies for recruitment, retention and advancement of Black nurses; and
    • identify the meaning of sponsorship and its value in the progression of Black nurses.


    • Ingrid Wilson, CHRL, CMS, GridFern Strategic HR
    • Josephine Etowa, PhD, RN, RM, FWACN, FAAN, Professor, OHTN Chair in Black Women’s HIV Prevention and Care in Health Sciences, University of Ottawa
    • Suzanne Charles Watson, Program Manager, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, SickKids Research Institute

    RNAO's slides for April 19 webinar
    Ingrid Wilson's slides
    Josephine Etowa's slides
    Suzanne Charles Watson's slides

    March 15, 2021

      Topic: Impacts of racism on the mental health of Black nurses


      • generate awareness of the emotional toll overt and covert racism can have on Black nurses and nursing students;
      • explore how systemic anti-Black racism and discrimination affects the mental health and wellbeing of Black people;
      • discuss the ways in which Black nurses’ experiences of racism impacts their educational and career trajectories;
      • identify strategies to address, cope with and build resilience against racial microaggressions; and 
      • review opportunities for advocacy related to increasing mental health supports and services within academic institutions and workplaces of Black nurses.


      • Dr. Oluremi Adewale, RN, BScN, MScN, EdD, President, CEO and Founder of Women Focus Canada Inc. and Mental Health Consultant
      • Aaliyah Hoo Kim, RN, BScN, Clinical Nurse Educator at S.R.T. MedStaff

      RNAO's slides for March 15 webinar
      Dr. Oluremi's slides 

      Feb. 16, 2021

      Topic: The power of mentorship in nursing education


      • explore the value, benefits and outcomes of mentorship opportunities for Black nursing students in academic settings;
      • review strategies for establishing goals, expectations and boundaries in a mentor/mentee relationship;
      • identify enablers and barriers to Black nursing students’ access to mentors;
      • examine how mentorship experiences for Black nursing students are impacted by the diversity of the faculty and student population; and
      • promote dialogue to help shape RNAO's mentorship initiative for Black nurses and nursing students.


      • Dr. Bukola Salami, RN, MN, PhD, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
      • Ola Thomas Obewu, 3rd year BScN Student at York University, RNAO Black Nurses Task Force Panelist
      • Birgit Umaigba, RN, BScN, MEd, CCRN, Clinical Instructor at Centennial College

      RNAO's slides for Feb. 16 webinar
      Dr. Bukola Salami's slides

      Jan. 18, 2021

      Topic: Building a mentorship movement for Black nurses


      • explore definitions of mentorship and the attributes of an effective mentor/mentee;
      • increase participants' understanding of Black nurses access to and experiences of mentorship;
      • discuss what constitutes a successful mentor/mentee relationship;
      • describe the value, benefits and outcomes of mentorship for mentors, mentees and for health-care organizations; and
      • generate dialogue to help shape RNAO's mentorship initiative for Black nurses.


      1. Michele James, Vice-President, People and Transformation, Scarborough Health Network 
      2. Ryan Hinds, Community Engagement Lead, Toronto Central LHIN
      3. Sandra Robinson, NP, CNO Council President, Manager at Toronto Western Hospital
      4. Sharon Nwamadi, RN, Nurse Manager, Bayview Family Practice

      Slides for Jan. 18 webinar

      Nov. 16, 2020

      Topic: Becoming an ally of the Black nursing community 


      • generate awareness among participants about what it means to be an ally working against anti-Black racism;
      • identify essential responsibilities and behaviours for effective allyship;
      • explore strategies to support Black nurses and challenge systemic racial discrimination and microaggressions in the workplace; and
      • share and discuss resources that are available for those wanting to advance in their allyship journey.


      • Frances Delsol, Executive Director of the Black Business and Professional Association
      • Allison Hector-Alexander, Director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Durham College
      • Tina Garnett, Human Rights and Inclusion Specialist at Hamilton Health Sciences
      • Dr. Sally Thorne, Professor at UBC School of Nursing

      Slides from the Nov. 16 webinar

      Oct. 26, 2020

      Topic: Systemic racial discrimination and microaggressions in the workplace: from recognition to action


      • explore manifestations of systemic racial discrimination and microaggressions experienced by Black nurses in the workplace;
      • discuss how complaints of anti-Black racism and discrimination are raised and addressed in the workplaces of Black nurses across the health system;
      • generate awareness about the mental and physical health impacts of anti-Black racism and discrimination and identify trauma-informed supports for Black nurses in the workplace;
      • describe types of and effectiveness of training and orientation programs around cultural competence/safety, diversity, and anti-oppression from the perspective of Black nurses; and
      • share and discuss approaches for responding to and coping with systemic racial discrimination and microaggressions in the workplace—experienced personally or witnessed.


      • LaRon Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, FNAP, FAAN
        Independent Foundation Professor and Associate Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean of Global Affairs & Planetary Health at Yale University, Scientist with MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital
      • Jackie Williamson RN, BScN, MEd, PhD
        Professor, Durham College
        Staff Nurse, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
      • Crystal Garvey RN BScN MScN PhD (student)
        Professor Collaborative BScN Program, Durham College/ Ontario Tech University


      Sept. 21, 2020

      Topic: Exploring the impact of systemic racism and discrimination in health care on career development for Black nurses


      Part 1: Check the pulse on RNAO’s Black Nurses Task Force
      Part 2: Explore the impact of systemic racism and discrimination in health care on career development for Black nurses

      • increase participants’ awareness about the lack of Black nurses in executive and academic positions, regardless of their educational preparation and experiences;
      • edentify barriers to career development for Black nurses, in order to further equal access to opportunities for executive and academic positions in health care and academic settings;
      • explore options for mentorship initiatives for Black nurses using a trauma-informed approach; and
      • discuss the impacts of systemic racism and discrimination on Black nurses’ self-esteem and overall mental health with respect to career development.


      • Dionne Sinclair MScN, MCHM, RN, CHE, Director, Medicine Programs, Southlake Regional Hospital
      • Dania Versailles, RN, BScN, MScN (Mental health/Psychiatry), CPMHN(C), Director, Clinical Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch

      RNAO's slides for Sept. 21 webinar

      Aug. 17, 2020

      Topic: Understanding anti-Black racism in the education system: from preschool to graduate school


      • provide a brief overview of the historical context of anti-Black racism within Ontario and Canada’s education sector;
      • discuss anti-Black racism and systemic inequities within Ontario's largest district school boards—with a focus on how new findings affect Black people from preschool through to graduate education;
      • describe some of the impacts of systemic anti-Black racism on enrollment in 'academic vs. applied' course streams and 'college vs. university' post-secondary pathways;
      • describe systemic barriers that impede opportunities for Black students to succeed in the education system;
      • highlight strategies and approaches to address anti-Black racism and discrimination in nursing educational programs; and
      • discuss opportunities for the supportive practice of mentoring in educational systems for Black nurses.


      • Keisha Jefferies, RN, PhD(C), Dalhousie University
      • Jacqueline Spence, superintendent of Equity, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, & Early Years, Toronto District School Board

      RNAO's slides for Aug. 17 webinar

      July 20, 2020


      • introduce RNAO’s Black Nurses Task Force; 
      • create a safe space for Black nurses to engage in meaningful conversations related to how race and their lived experiences have informed their current practice; and
      • identify barriers to address career advancement for Black nurses in order to further equal access to opportunities for Black nurses in the health-care system.


      • Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite, RN, BN, MN, PhD, immediate past president, RNAO
      • Chantal Sorhaindo, NP(PHC-GH), BScN, MN, nurse practitioner, St. Michael’s Hospital

      RNAO's slides for July 20 webinar

      June 15, 2020

      Topic:  Let's talk and tackle racism and discrimination in nursing and in health care


      • Allison Dalby
      • Hoodo Ibrahim
      • Nora Van Dalen
      • Shirley Davis
      • Anthony Morgan

      RNAO's slides for June 15 webinar

      Cost for Members: 
      $0.00 CAD
      Cost for non-Members: 
      $0.00 CAD