STOP RACIAL INJUSTICE IN DALHOUSIE NURSING

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Goals to be implemented by Fall 2021:

  1. Allocate at least 10 seats for Black students of African descent and Indigenous students per cohort admission round.
  2. Diversify the nursing curriculum to include different races, ethnicities, cultures etc. to reflect the diverse population that nurses care for.
  3. Professors, clinical instructors, and guest lecturers should be hired from multiple ethnicities to counteract the underrepresentation of Black and Indigenous nurses in leadership roles. 
  4. Introduce a bursary incentive for Black students of African descent to address systemic financial barriers to education. 
     

Who we are, and why we care: 

The Nursing Student Advocacy Collective is a group of students that has come together in response to the recent events that have transpired in the world related to anti-Black racism, police brutality, systematic and systemic oppression. We recognize that work needs to be done to enhance the diversity within the Dalhousie School of Nursing (SON) in terms of curriculum, leadership and student body. For instance, there were previously designated seats for Black students resulting in a 100% increase in Black graduates. In 2013, these seats were removed. This then poses the question, why were these seats removed in the first place?

Overall, Black nurses are largely underrepresented and absent in the nursing profession. This absence is evident within the Dalhousie Nursing program in regards to leadership positions, the school curriculum and in clinical practice.

As a collective we feel strongly that improvements must be made to the School of Nursing to create an inclusive and psychologically safe work and learning environment for all. We have taken notice of the severe lack of diversity and Black leadership within our teaching teams in the School of Nursing. There are also very few BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) students accepted into nursing each semester. The curriculums we are taught are Eurocentric and, therefore, fail to address the signs and manifestations of illnesses on black and brown skin. Finally, we also have accounts from Black students of micro-aggressions they have faced from SON faculty; this is unacceptable. 

The following are excerpts from experiences of racism faced by Black students in Dalhousie Nursing, their full experiences are posted on our Facebook page linked here

“During my first few years at Dalhousie I was told by various professors and faculty members to quit nursing or choose a different career path because they felt that nursing was not for me.”

“...just simply the fact that 90% of the classroom and the teaching material itself is so whitewashed that it always screams “you don’t belong here”.”

“She said that I had to start sitting by myself and not with my other friends who were black, but even when I started sitting by myself I was still getting the same marks...she saw four black girls sitting together and assumed that we were copying off of each other.”

In order to provide safe and competent care to all in the community, we must begin by addressing the teaching, leadership and lack of BIPOC representation within our program. To emphasize the need for change, your support in signing this petition is crucial. 

We also encourage you to share your experience with us if you are a Black student that has either graduated or currently going through the Dalhousie Nursing Program by emailing nursingstudentadvocacycollective@outlook.com

*Disclaimer: Please be advised that all donations go to change.org and are not affiliated with the Nursing Student Advocacy Collective