Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 34(4) December 2021 : 139-143.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2021.26678
A Sea Change Ahead: What If?

Commentary – Advancing Nursing in Canada: Toward the Elimination of Anti-Black Racism

Keisha Jefferies


This commentary challenges historic and contemporary issues within nursing and provides direction toward a more inclusive future for nursing. This is a call-to-action for nurses, nursing students and nurse allies to advance effort toward the elimination of anti-Black racism in nursing in Canada. To achieve this, it is imperative to move beyond the performative and adopt practices that enable critical reflection and action. Addressing the manner in which exclusion is reinforced and perpetuated requires interrogation of four distinct yet interconnected processes of racial exclusion and discrimination. Notwithstanding, the future of nursing requires a critical examination of the role of nursing in and relationship with oppressive institutions, including prisons. Abolition, regarded as a radical stance, argues that beyond disproportional incarceration rates, prisons exist within a system of punishment that inflicts long-lasting irreparable mental and physical trauma upon individuals, families and communities. The effects of incarceration on mental, physical and spiritual health is a healthcare crisis that is in direct opposition to the core tenets of nursing and health.



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