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

Mon, 2020-10-26 18:45 - 20:15
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About this Event:

When: Every third Monday of the month 
Time: 6:45 - 8:15 p.m. ET

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 Together We Can Do It 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"

Next webinar

When: 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.
  • 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
  • Additional speaker to be confirmed.


Upcoming webinars

  • Nov. 16, 2020

Past webinars

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.
  • Identify 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.
  • 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

View slides from the 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
  • 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

View slides from the 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
  • 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

View slides from the 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

View slides from the June 15 webinar

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