Racial and Social Justice Statement

The Department of Nursing is committed to addressing racial and social injustice through the lens of Critical Social Theory and Watson’s Human Caring Theory. 

  • We know that racial and social injustice are an ongoing, pervasive public health issue in the United States. 
  • We recognize that racism, discrimination, and systemic oppression is and has always been embedded in the social fabric of America including in our beliefs, customs, way of life, and structure; this social framework is also the foundation of nursing. 
  • We understand that it is our duty to examine our practice and work toward dismantling systems of harm caused by prejudice, implicit bias, structural racism, and other forms of oppression. 
  • We support and stand in solidarity with activists who seek to disrupt inequity and decolonize nursing.
  • We recognize the vastly disparate health experiences, outcomes, and inequities caused by racism, colonialism, classism, capitalism, ableism1, gender essentialism2, sizeism, and other forms of oppression. 
  • We embrace the opportunity to advocate for health equity and eliminate health disparities. 
  • We understand that structural racism and other systems of oppression contribute to ongoing exclusion of underrepresented people in the nursing workforce.
  • We strive to create an inclusive learning environment that welcomes, acknowledges, honors, and nurtures all students, faculty, and staff, particularly those who are underrepresented
  • We commit to providing students with the education and support they need to offer equitable care for the people and communities they serve and accompany in care.
  • We will prepare nurses to address racism and oppression by:
    • Understanding one's ethical obligation in calling out injustice;
    • Being knowledgeable in historical and prevailing forms of oppression;
    • Identifying, naming, challenging, analyzing, and addressing unjust and racist practices; 
    • And contributing to solutions to eliminate bias and discrimination within health systems.
  • We, the faculty, recognize our social responsibility to disrupt and dismantle racism and other oppressive systems, starting in nursing education and thus, commit to the following:
    • Actively learn and unlearn racist and unjust practices in a process to develop skills and strategies in emancipatory praxis individually and collectively leading to an antiracist and anti-oppression ideology; 
    • Engage in learning how historically and presently the nursing profession contributes to oppression; 
    • Use acquired knowledge to evaluate the way our policies, processes, and curricula create barriers, foster inequity, and contribute to ongoing racism;
    • Listen to and be informed by people who experience oppression while taking responsibility for our own learning;
    • Fully actualize and embody our roles as social justice and antiracist nurse educators; 
    • Welcome feedback about how we can improve our practice and education;
    • And through active allyship, take a direct stand and respond with accountability and effective action when injustice is witnessed.

AJEDI Committee Definition of Terms