Marking Black History Month in February, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Black Nurses Task Force (BNTF) will release a report to address the systemic anti-Black racism and discrimination that exists in the profession.
The groundbreaking report includes 19 recommendations to tackle structural racism within nursing organizations, regulatory bodies, associations and the broader health-care systems that are targeted towards and experienced by Black nurses. The report focuses on education and awareness building, research, advocacy, and partnership with allies and stakeholders.
“As nurses, we know that racism is recognized as an important determinant of health, contributing to health and social inequities. Racism continues to be deeply embedded in the health system and structures within Canada,” says BNTF co-chair and RNAO Past-President Dr. Angela Cooper-Brathwaite. “This report shines a long overdue spotlight on the injustices experienced by Black nurses and calls for meaningful changes in the nursing profession.”
The report highlights the key activities facilitated by the BNTF, including significant findings from an Ontario-wide survey of 205 Black nurses. The results of the survey informed the creation of recommendations for academic and workplace settings in need of urgent change on an individual, organizational and policy level.
“For a long time, Black nurses have reported facing microaggressions, discrimination and the consequences of systemic racism within academic and workplace settings. As a result, it has taken a toll on their mental health, adding increased stress, depression and anxiety. Our report highlights the urgent need to address racism within nursing and a compelling need for greater mentorship and support for Black nurses,” says BNTF co-chair and nurse practitioner Corsita Garraway. “It is only together that we can address and eliminate anti-Black racism in the province and on a global level.”
The Black Nurses Task Force is made up of 17 Black nurses and nursing students working in various sectors of the health system with a mandate to eliminate anti-Black racism and discrimination within the nursing profession. RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun created the task force in June 2020 after the murder of George Floyd sent chills across the world and all those who have experienced anti-Black racism and violence. Grinspun says that “no sector, profession or organization is immune to the ingrained effects of systemic racism, including nursing and health care. RNAO is determined to drive decisive action from national and provincial nursing organizations and institutions to expunge systemic racism from our profession.”
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s Black Nurses Task Force releases its report Acknowledging, Addressing and Tackling Anti-Black Racism and Discrimination Within the Nursing Profession.
Feb. 8, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET
Co-chairs of RNAO’s Black Nurses Task Force:
- Dr. Angela Cooper Brathwaite, registered nurse and RNAO past-president
- Corsita Garraway, nurse practitioner
- Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO
Media are welcome to ask questions of any task force member at the end of the media conference.
Press conference via Zoom
All media are invited, but must register online to attend.
Join the conversation on social media using #BNTFreport.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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