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National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing




On January 25, 2021 leading nursing organizations launched the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing (the Commission). The Commission will examine the issue of racism within nursing nationwide and describe the impact on nurses, patients, communities, and health care systems to motivate all nurses to confront systemic racism. 

The Commission is being led by the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA), and National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).

The Commission members and organizations represent a broad continuum of nursing practice, ethnically diverse groups, and regions across the country:

  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Association for Men in Nursing
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • American Nurses Foundation
  • American Organization of Nursing Leadership
  • ANA Eastern Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations
  • ANA Midwestern Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations
  • ANA South Eastern Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations
  • ANA Western Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association
  • Chi Eta Phi
  • Minority Fellowship Program at the American Nurses Association
  • National Alaska/Native American Indian Nurses Association
  • National Association of Indian Nurses of America      
  • National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses
  • National League for Nursing
  • Organization for Associate Degree Nursing
  • Philippine Nurses Association of America
  • The Minority Nurse

Momentum and Opportunity

Prior to joining forces to address racism in nursing, the organizations that make up the National Commission to Address Racism (the Commission) have for years raised their individual voices to condemn all forms of racism within our society and health care system.

Racism is a public health crisis that impacts a person’s mental, spiritual, and physical health as well as overall quality of life. Racism in the nursing profession does not align with The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, which obligates all nurses to be allies and to advocate for and speak up against racism, discrimination, and injustice. Nurses of color are often subjected to unfair structural and systemic workplace practices, processes inherent in many health care systems, hospitals, and care settings that must be identified, addressed, and eradicated.

The Commission convenes monthly to explore and understand the issues of systemic racism within nursing through varied insights and perspectives to include subject matter experts and scholars on the issue. Additionally, the Commission plans to host a virtual summit focused on activism and publish findings and a set of priority recommendations to address racism in nursing.

The appetite and the external environment indicate that the forming of the Commission is timely and the subsequent work to address racism in nursing is critical. There is great opportunity to amplify and promote the work of the Commission to internal and external audiences as well as non-nursing audiences.

Vision, Mission and Goals

Vision Statement:

The nursing profession exemplifies inclusivity, diversity, and equity creating an antiracist praxis and environments.

Mission Statement:

Set as the scope and standard of practice that nurses confront and mitigate systemic racism within the nursing profession and address the impact that racism has on nurses and nursing.


  1. Engage in national discussions within the nursing profession to own, amplify, understand, and change how racism negatively impacts colleagues; patients, families, and communities; and the health care system.
  2. Develop strategies to actively address racism within nursing education, practice, policy, and research, including addressing issues of leadership and the use of power.
  3. Use the Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice as a framework to create a roadmap for action to address racism in nursing.

Who, What, When, Where, How and Why?


  • Nurses from races and ethnicities that have been marginalized and under-represented because of actions from predominantly white groups and others who may view themselves or their group as superior.
  • Nurses from predominantly white groups along with nurses who are advantaged and privileged by unfair structural and systemic practices.

What: Lead a national discussion to address racism in nursing to create safe and liberating environments as well as an antiracist profession for all nurses.

When: Racism is historically rooted in the nursing profession and continues today. The time is now to transform the profession by addressing racism in nursing.

Where: The National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing is focused on exploring the impact of racism across nursing education, practice, policy, and research, with particular emphasis on leadership and the use of power.

How: Collaborate with partner organizations, the broader nursing community, and subject matter experts to:

  • Understand and own the negative impacts of and seek to change racism in nursing through engagement, listening sessions, storytelling, etc.
  • Use the American Nurses Association’s scope and standards of professional nursing practice framework to set antiracist behaviors into action which dismantle systemic racism within the nursing profession.
    • Establish a scope of practice statement that describes the role of the profession and individual nurses in identifying and addressing racism in nursing and the implications for the profession, patient care, and the healthcare system.
    • Institute standards of practice that describes the actions and behaviors expected of the profession, individual nurses, and organizations to address racism in nursing.

Why: So that the nursing profession exemplifies inclusivity, diversity, and equity.



Commission Members Bios

Martha Dawson


President, National Black Nurses Association

(Commission Co-Lead)

Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN FACHE earned her bachelor’s degree in 1976 and her master’s degree in 1984, both from UABSON.  In 2010, she earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton, School of Nursing. In 1984, she completed her hospital administration residency at Gaston Memorial Hospital at Gastonia, NC.  Dr. Dawson has experience in academic medical centers, community hospitals, and academia. She served in senior level positions such as, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officers. She managed her own healthcare consultant business.  She is an Associate Professor in the Nursing and Health Systems Leadership Division, and the Nursing and Health Systems Administration (NHSA) track at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing (UABSON). Dr. Dawson was installed as the 13th President of the National Black Nurses Associates, Inc., and represent the voice of over 308,000 African American and other nurses of different races and ethnicities.  She has served as the division director and specialty track coordinator of the NHSA track.  Under her leadership, the NHSA track at UABSON has ranked in the top 10 for the last 10 years under her leadership. Currently, the NHSA track is ranked #1 among public universities in the US and #3 among all universities. In 2019, Dr. Dawson was inducted into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame Nurse. She is a Scholar in the Sparkman Global Health Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow, and Johnson & Johnson Wharton Nurse Administrative Fellow. In 2017, she was the recipient of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Prism Award for Diversity, the President’s Teaching Excellence Award (2015), Graduate Dean’s Mentorship Award (2014), Nursing Innovation in Teaching Award (2012), Service Excellence (2011), Ruby Outstanding Leadership and Support (2011), Recognized Leader (2010), Madeline R. Zaworski Award for Outstanding Leadership from Frances Payne-Bolton School of Nursing (2010), and Lillian Holland Harvey Award from the Alabama State Nurses Association (2010),  In 2004, a mayoral proclamation declared Dr. Dawson a Distinguished Citizen of Louisville, KY where she was active with the Regional Workforce Investment Board, American Red Cross Board, community research assessment projects that lead to the Kentucky Women 4 Women statewide health initiative, development of a nurse managed clinic, and participation with Sister Cities of Louisville. She was a contributing author in the Drive-Thru Flu Shots: A model for mass immunization. Carrico, R. 2002, ISBN: 1-879260-45-X.  The first drive-thru flu shot model in the US.  As a translational scientist, she focuses career barriers and mobility, management development, succession planning, career progression, and workforce diversity and planning. She has publications in books, journals, newsletters, and podcasts.

Ernest J. Grant


President, American Nurses Association

(Commission Co-Lead)

Dr. Ernest J. Grant is the 36th president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the nation’s largest nurses organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4.2 million registered nurses.

A distinguished leader, Dr. Grant has more than 30 years of nursing experience and is an internationally recognized burn-care and fire-safety expert. He previously served as the burn outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill. In this role, Grant oversaw burn education for physicians, nurses, and other allied health care personnel and ran the center’s nationally acclaimed burn prevention program, which promotes safety and works to reduce burn-related injuries through public education and the legislative process. Grant also serves as adjunct faculty for the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where he works with undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.

Grant is frequently sought out for his expertise as a clinician and educator. In addition to being a prolific speaker, he has conducted numerous burn-education courses with various branches of the U.S. military in preparation for troops’ deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2002, President George W. Bush presented Grant with a Nurse of the Year Award for his work treating burn victims from the World Trade Center site. In 2013, Grant received the B.T. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Council for making a difference in preventing the devastating effects of fire and burn injuries and deaths within the state.

An active participant in professional organizations, Grant is a past chair of the National Fire Protection Association board of directors and served as second vice president of the American Burn Association board of trustees. He also holds membership in Sigma Theta Tau and Chi Eta Phi. Grant served as president of the North Carolina Nurses Association from 2009-11. In 2002, ANA honored Grant with the Honorary Nursing Practice Award for his contributions to the advancement of nursing practice through strength of character, commitment, and competence.

Grant holds a BSN degree from North Carolina Central University and MSN and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2014. He is the first man to be elected to the office of president of the American Nurses Association.

Adrianna Nava


President, National Association of Hispanic Nurses

(Commission Co-Lead)

Dr. Nava serves the Latino community as President (2021-2024) of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). In this role, she is focused on building the leadership capacity of nurses, with a focus on Latino nurses-who continue to be underrepresented in health care leadership positions across the country. Dr. Nava also serves our nation’s Veterans as the Chief Nurse of Quality and Systems Improvement at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital.

Dr. Nava has a MPA’20 from Harvard University; PhD’19 in Nursing and Health Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston; a MSN’11 in Health Leadership with a health policy focus from the University of Pennsylvania; and a BSN’09 from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. She completed a pre-doctoral VA Quality Scholarship (VAQS) fellowship at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in 2019 and the U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School in 2020. Her professional interests include: health equity, access to primary care and workforce development.

For her leadership in advancing Veteran and Latino Health, Dr. Nava has been awarded the 2021 Latina Style Leadership Award; the 2020 U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School; the 2020 Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Award for Excellence in Nursing; the 2017 Outstanding Alumni-Excellence in Leadership Award from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing; the 2017 NAHN’s 40 under 40 Recognition Award; the 2016-2018 PhD Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Award; the 2014 Community Education Service Award from AARP-IL; and the 2011 VA Going the Extra Mile Service Award.

Debra Toney


President, National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations

(Commission Co-Lead)

Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN, FAAN has more than 30 years of clinical and leadership experience in nursing and community-based health promotion programs.  She began her career as a critical care nurse and progressed into leadership roles.  A strong advocate of patient-centered care, Dr. Toney is a national and international speaker known for her passionate, enthusiastic, and inspirational style and her ability to get to the heart of the matter.

Dr. Toney is the Vice President of Quality Management at Nevada’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, Nevada Health Centers, Inc. (NVHC) comprised of 18 health centers in urban, rural and frontier Nevada.  As the Vice President, she is responsible for ensuring high quality and cost-effective healthcare throughout NVHC’s integrated practice of medical, dental, and behavioral health services.  Dr. Toney has come full circle and believes she has landed in the perfect location to combine her professional life and community passion which allows her to provide ongoing contributions in advocating to eliminate health disparities and inequities throughout the neediest communities.

Dr. Toney has a long history of public and community service.  She was appointed by the Governor of Nevada to serve as a member of the Office of Minority Health and served as its first chair, where she provided leadership and direction for the statewide office. Her advocacy effects have advanced the national health policy agenda through various experiences including testifying before the Committee on Appropriations on the need for adequate funding for nursing education. Dr. Toney is the founder of the Southern Nevada Black Nurses Association and a Past President of the National Black Nurses Association where she developed several programs including the: NBNA Founders Leadership Institute, the NBNA Summer Youth Enrichment Institute, the Obesity Institute and NBNA under 40 Forum.  She is a graduate of the prestigious RWJ Executive Nurse Fellows Program. Dr. Toney works diligently on behalf of the nursing and health professions and is a member of the Nurses on Boards Coalition where she serves as finance chair.  She is President of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, which is coalition of 5 national ethnic minority nursing association and she is a former board member of the American Academy of Nursing.  Dr. Toney is President Emerita of the Nevada Action Coalition and also serves as Chair of the Diversity Task Force.  She is passionate about creating the next generation of minority nurse leaders and is a mentor to student nurses and experienced nurses transitioning into leadership roles.  She has held positions for several national organizations, including the NIH Office of Women’s Research, The Joint Commission, FDA Nominating Group and Coca Cola’s Health & Wellness Advisory Board.

Dr. Toney is a strong advocate for giving back to the community and serves as Chair of the Rainbow Dreams Educational Foundation, where she is dedicated to the well-being of high risk underserved youth.   In both her professional and volunteer roles, she has been devoted to delivering and improving health care in under-served communities.   Dr. Toney has been recognized for her contributions to society by numerous organizations including being selected as a Torchbearer in the London Olympic Torch Relay.

Daniela Vargas

MSN, MPH, MA-Bioethics, RN, PHN

At-Large Member

(Commission Co-Lead)

Daniela Vargas, MSN, MPH, MA-Bioethics, RN, PHN is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, part of NAHN Policy & Advocacy committee & a DNP-Population Health Leadership student at the University of San Francisco. Her doctoral work is focused on antiracist policies/practices & establishing workforce support experience programs for Black, Brown & Indigenous nurses. Her wish for this commission that we work toward antiracist nursing praxis & work actively against racism.

G. Rumay Alexander



Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, noted presenter and consultant, is currently a professor in the School of Nursing, Assistant Dean of Relational Excellence at the Adams School of Dentistry and formerly the Associate Vice -Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion/ Chief Diversity Officer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the end of 2019, she completed her presidency of the National League for Nursing, the voice for nursing education which has over 40,000 nurse educators and 1200 schools of nursing.

As one of nursing’s prominent thought leaders, guiding individuals in academic, corporate, health care and religious organizations in the exploration of marginalizing processes and lived experiences of difference, her expertise has and continues to be frequently sought.  She has been appointed to transformative healthcare initiatives including the Commission of Workforce for Hospitals and Health Systems of the American Hospital Association, the Tri-Council of Nursing, and the National Quality Forum’s steering committee which developed the first national voluntary consensus standards for nursing-sensitive care.  As the Senior Vice President for Clinical and Professional Services at the Tennessee Hospital Association and their first vice president of color for 2 decades, she designed and executed one of the nation’s first minority health administrators’ program, Agenda 21, which exists to this day. As a result, over 250 minority health care executives are serving and stewarding healthcare in the nation.  Her passion for equity of opportunity and penchant for holding courageous dialogues to steward and promoting human flourishing is evident in all her encounters and characteristically describes her as a prophetic and caring leader.

Lydia Albuquerque


President, National Association of Indian Nurses in America

Dr. Lydia Albuquerque currently serves as an Assistant Professor at William Paterson University and as an acute care Nurse Practitioner at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Barnabas Health. She brings in over three decades of experience in nursing education, research, and administration. At William Paterson, she teaches at both the undergraduate, and graduate levels. As a faculty member in higher education, she has a robust research agenda and has partnered in grants close to $4 million, with the goals of providing scholarships for disadvantaged students and promoting cardiovascular health among men and women. Dr. Albuquerque has presented at national and international conferences. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and is currently collaborating with international researchers to conduct studies relevant to student behaviors and online learning during the pandemic. She serves on the Publication Committee of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses and is Vice President of Sigma Theta Tau International Iota chapter. Dr. Albuquerque has received the DIVA award from the Institute for Nurses (IFN), a New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) which recognizes leaders for their contributions to nursing research, nursing education or administration. In 2020, she was named a finalist for the Nurse of Year award through the March of Dimes organization. She was inducted to the Who’s Who in American Nursing by the Society of Nursing in 2018. Dr. Albuquerque is the founding president of the American Association of Indian Nurses of America, New Jersey chapter. She has also served within the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) since its inception as a Secretary, Advisory Board member, Election officer, founding chair for the APN forum committee, and recently, the Executive Vice President. Dr. Albuquerque has been inducted as the President of NAINA for 2021-2022 with a strong determination and commitment to take this organization to a higher level. Dr. Albuquerque graduated from the College of Nursing, Armed Forces Medical College, in Pune, India and completed her post-graduate in Nursing from Shreemati Natibhai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in Mumbai, India. She received her post-master’s degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Rutgers University and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from William Paterson University, New Jersey. A fun, but interesting, fact about Dr. Albuquerque is that she has served as a special duty nurse to the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, during the Commonwealth Nations Head of the Governments meeting in 1980. Dr. Albuquerque has also airlifted Mrs. Mugabe, wife of Robert Mugabe, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe for emergency dialysis to All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. Dr. Albuquerque is a retired Indian army officer who places service before self and will do the same for NAINA.

Rhonda Anderson


President, American Nurses Credentialing Center

Rhonda Anderson, DNSc(h), MPA,BS,RN FAAN, LFACHE,FACHT is a Healthcare and workforce consultant and a surveyor and consultant for Global Healthcare Accreditation. She is currently President of ANCC, and is on many professional, nonprofit and venture capital boards including Chamberlain University, Make a wish, and Healing the Children.  She has been CNO, COO and CEO in Healthcare organizations and University faculty.

Kenya Beard


Representative, National League for Nursing

Kenya V. Beard, EdD, AGACNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, is the Associate Provost for Chamberlain University and a 2012 Macy Faculty Scholar. She is a diversity science expert who has propagated research to strengthen diversity in nursing. Her equity workshops have been facilitated by the National League for Nursing and the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions. She serves on the New York State Board for Nursing and the editorial board for the American Journal of Nursing.

Bridgette M. Brawner


Chair, National Advisory Committee, Minority Fellowship Program @ ANA

Dr. Bridgette M. Brawner is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She Chairs the National Advisory Committee for the Minority Fellowship Program at the ANA/SAMHSA. She is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Bridgette Executive Consulting, LLC where she works with individuals and organizations to promote racial and ethnic minority engagement and retention in health-related fields.

Karen Daley


Board Member, American Nurses Foundation

Karen Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN, served from 2010 to 2014 as the president of the American Nurses Association, the nation’s largest nursing organization representing the interests of the nation’s 3.1 million registered nurses.  She is a past president of the ANA Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Center for Nursing and has served on the boards of ANA, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and the ANA-PAC.  She is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the American Nurses Foundation, the International Safety Center and the Barnstable Land Trust and has been appointed an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Daley spent more than 25 years as a front-line caregiver and staff nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston.  She practiced for more than 22 years in the BWH emergency department until January of 1999 when she left due to a needlestick injury that resulted in her infection with both HIV and hepatitis C.  Since that time, she has been actively engaged on state, national and international levels as an advocate for use of safer needle devices in health care practice settings.  Daley has traveled to more than 30 US states as well as Europe, Australia and Asia in her ongoing campaign to educate nurses, students, health care administrators and legislators on the importance of needlestick injury prevention.  In recognition of the integral role she played in the passage of federal legislation to update the 1991 OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, Daley was among those invited to the Oval Office to witness President Clinton sign the “Needlestick Safety Prevention Act” into law on November 6, 2000.

During her four-year tenure as ANA president, Daley led and served as the spokesperson for the organization, which represented the interests of 3.1M registered nurses and included three subsidiaries with a $50M budget.  During that time, she also spearheaded a major organizational transformation, initiating the most substantive changes made to ANA in over three decades that have resulted in significant overall growth for the organization.  In 2011, while serving as ANA president, she was listed among Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Health Care” and, in 2013, was selected by Modern Healthcare as one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare.”

Daley has been recognized with numerous awards for her outstanding leadership and excellence in practice.  Daley was honored as the recipient of the ANA Nursing Practice Award in 2000 and the Essence of Nursing Award at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1999.  In 1999, she was also honored by physician colleagues in the Brigham Emergency Department as recipient of the first annual Karen A. Daley Emergency Medicine Residents’ Nursing Appreciation Award.  In 2003, she was awarded the Gail Lenehan Award from the Emergency Nurses Association in recognition of her national advocacy on behalf of nurses.  In 2006, she was recognized as a living nursing legend by the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, and was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing.  In 2015, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire in recognition of her global public health advocacy and leadership and in 2017, received her second honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts.

Daley holds a diploma in nursing from Catherine Labouré School of Nursing, a bachelor’s of science in nursing from Curry College, a master’s in public health from Boston University School of Public Health, and a master’s in science and PhD in nursing from Boston College.

Vernell DeWitty


Director Diversity, Equity &Inclusion, American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Dr. DeWitty is a transformational leader with a vision for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for the nursing profession and serves as the Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at AACN where she advises top academic nursing leaders on building consensus around a strategic DEI approach. Her previous background encompasses nursing education, practice, and healthcare administration.

Larlene Dunsmuir


Western Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations
Director of Professional Services, Oregon Nurses Association

I am the Director of Professional Services at the Oregon Nurses Association. I have been in this role for 5 years. I am also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Portland, in the DNP program. I am a Nurse Practitioner and also maintain a clinical practice working on-call in urgent care.

Laura Fennimore


Organizational Affiliate Liaison, American Nurses Association

Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN serves as the Immediate Past President of the Oncology Nursing Society and as the Organizational Affiliate Liaison to the ANA Board of Directors. She a professor of nursing at the University of Pittsburgh where she teaches and mentors DNP students in the Health Systems Executive Leadership Program. Related to the issues to be addressed in this Commission, she teaches a first-year student seminar on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity.

Mary Ann Fuchs


President, American Organization of Nursing Leadership

AONL President, VP of Patient Care and System Chief Nurse Executive.

Willa Fuller


South Eastern Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations
Executive Director, Florida Nurses Association

Willa Fuller, BSN RN is the Executive Director of the Florida Nurses Association (FNA). She has been a nurse for 37 years graduating from Daytona State College and University of Central Florida. She is currently a doctoral student at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She has worked as a medical-surgical nurse and a clinical nurse educator before leaving clinical practice to work for the FNA. During her career and her studies, she has focused on culturally competent care, workplace incivility, and nursing advocacy. She speaks frequently to the nursing community in Florida on multiple nursing topics.

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia


President, Philippine Nurses Association of America

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia is the President of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. She is the Immediate Chair of Kalusugan (Health) Coalition and was a member of the National Advisory Council on Research for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Health. She chairs the Advocacy Committee, Co-Chairs the Diversity Committee and sits on the Board for the Health Information Management Systems Society New York State Chapter.

Marcus Henderson


Director-at-Large, American Nurses Association Board of Directors

Marcus Henderson, MSN, RN is a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing where he teaches in the undergraduate psychiatric mental health and community health nursing courses. Marcus practices as an acute care child/adolescent psychiatric nurse. In 2019, he was elected to ANA Board and appointed to serve on the Future of Nursing 2030 Committee at the National Academies. Marcus holds a BSN and MSN in Health Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Eun-Ok Im


President, Asian American / Pacific Islander Nurses Association

Senior Associate Dean of Research and Innovation & Edith Folsom Honeycutt Endowed Chair, Emory University.

Dr. Eun-Ok Im is currently the president of the Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association. She has gained national and international recognition as a methodologist and theorist in international cross-cultural women’s health through over 400 papers, abstracts, and chapters (over 200 refereed journal articles) and over 400 international and national multi-disciplinary presentations. Dr. Im has been on more than 50 research review panels of the NIH and has served the PCORI, AHA, STTI, and ONF as a reviewer. Dr. Im is a senior editor of the Journal of Transcultural Nursing, is on the editorial boards of 8 journals, and is on 13 editorial review boards. She has numerous national and international awards including the 2020 CANS Outstanding Nurse Scientist Award and the 2014 STTI International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Im has conducted research projects on breast cancer survivorship, cancer pain, menopausal symptoms, and physical activity through a series of NIH-funded R01 awards. Over the past 25 years, she has conducted over 60 funded studies (including 4 R01s as the PI). She is also well known as the co-founder of Situation Specific Theory.

Tina Johnson


Board of Directors, National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses

I am Tina Johnson from the State of Mississippi.  I became a nurse almost by mistake. I worked in Business Finance for the Federal Government for many years before I grew weary and wanted a career change. I have always enjoyed helping others so becoming a nurse was a no brainer.  I have been a nurse for 30 years and I find it the most rewarding career for me.  I have worked in OB at Darnall Army Hospital, I also worked as a Vascular Nurse, I am also CPI (Certified Professional Instructor), Mental Health First aid certification, and Gerontology certified.  I have served as President of Mississippi LPN Association, currently I am the Treasurer. I served on the Mississippi Board of Nursing for 5 five years, while there I served on the executive committee as chair of the finance committee.  I have lobbied at the state legislature on behalf of Mississippi Nurses.  I have served on several committees at NCSBN (National Council of States Board of Nursing) I am a past president of NALPN (National Association of License Practical Nurses).  I am dedicated to serving and supporting nurses all over the world.

Donna Meyer


Chief Executive Officer, Organization for Associate Degree Nursing

Donna Meyer is the CEO of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) and is an executive Leader in the National Education Progression in Nursing Collaborative (NEPIN). She is very engaged in numerous organizations, holding appointments and offices in both state and national organizations. She has published in numerous journals on various nursing topics and presented at both national and international conferences on nursing leadership, innovative clinical practice, and education. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the National League of Nursing.

Priscilla J. Murphy


President, Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.

Priscilla Murphy is the Founder and CEO of Nylex Educational & Counseling Services Inc.  Ms. Murphy has prided herself in understanding her community and the people she serves. Ms. Murphy is an expert in several areas of training, counseling, and healthcare. She works as a nurse, counselor, and trainer. Ms. Murphy started her career as a Registered Nurse. During her career, she has distinguished herself as a dedicated provider in the health field. Ms. Murphy practiced nursing for 31 years before following her heart and moving into the field of counseling in 1999. She works tirelessly to make her clients understand that they have a voice, and their life can change. She is a strong advocate for eliminating mental health stigma and educating people of color to seek treatment.

She served a five-year term as grant reviewer for the National Advisory Center for Health care Strategies Inc. for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she worked to improve care for children with asthma.

While working on the nursing and counseling field, Ms. Murphy was drawn to show people in all areas through not just motivational training, but also understanding what Diversity and Inclusion meant before it was the popular issue to talk about. She was not afraid to tackle this issue head on and has spoken about it in many forums. Her training on Diversity, Inclusion and Bias training is international.  She has worked with the Wills Group, International Federation of Accountants, Newell Group, AIDS Delaware, and many others on these sensitive matters.  Finally, as a motivational speaker, she conducts seminars in secondary/high schools, corporations, and universities.  She is dynamic in her presentation and each lecture is developed personally for the organization. Ms. Murphy is a Human Resource trainer and facilitator for the 3M Company and provides training for Health Advocate companies throughout the state of Delaware on various topics.

Ms. Murphy is the National President of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporate.  A professional nursing organization. Joining the organization in 2002.

As National President she represented the organization as Tri Chair for National Council of Negro Women 59th symposium. And she has been able to bring organizations to the table during her presidency that incorporates and partners to ensure that the mission of Chi Eta Phi is represented. The organization are St. Judes March of Dimes and National Institute of Health. Recently she was the moderator for the Black Women’s Agenda forum in getting out the vote as this is also one of her passions. Ensuring that all people have a voice and as stated above, Ms. Murphy is able to do this through many forums, healthcare, teaching, training, mission driven through her work with Chi Eta Phi and finally Diversity and Inclusion. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Widener University and her Diploma in Nursing from Bryn Mawr School of Nursing. She is a graduate of Wilmington University with a dual master's degree in Clinical Counseling and Education.

Lisa Ochs


Midwestern Region of Constituent and State Nurses Association CEO, Ohio Nurses Association

Lisa Ochs is the Chief Executive Officer for the Ohio Nurses Association, affiliated with ANA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).  Lisa holds BS and MS degrees in Psychology, and worked a decade for the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority with male youth in the Reception and Diagnostic Unit of the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Facility.  Lisa completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education program.  Lisa has also been appointed to a variety of leadership groups within the AFT, including the Healthcare/Nurses Program and Policy Council and the Racial Equity Task Force.  Lisa has also served as an AFT representative to Public Services International, the World Social Forum, and as a member of the 2019 Delegation of U.S. Union Leaders to Taiwan.

Beverly Patchell


Placeholder, National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association

Dr. Beverly Patchell is currently performing clinical contract work for the State of Minnesota, providing direct care services to the seriously mentally ill. She also teaches graduate nursing courses and mentors advanced practice students during the school year.

She has taught graduate nursing in nursing schools around the country, has maintained a private practice focused on trauma and transformation, and has worked on grants focused on mental health and substance abuse issues for Native Americans in various tribal areas across the country.  She is a twice past president of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association.

Janice Phillips


The Minority Nurse

Dr. Janice Phillips has extensive experience as a clinician, researcher, educator, nurse regulator, author, and public policy advocate in the health care arena.  In 2011, Dr. Phillips completed the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship working in the office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-VA) where she analyzed complex data in support of implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and garnered support for prescription drug abuse legislation. From 2013-2017, Janice assumed the role of Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at CGFNS International where she helped positioned the organization in receiving their 5-year reauthorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue Visa Screen ® certificates to foreign educated health care professionals and securing first time NGO Consultative Status with the United Nations. As the Director of Nursing Research and Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Phillips serves as a system wide leader in supporting health equity as a shared goal integrating health equity across Rush Health System’s training, research, and clinical endeavors.  She is the author of over 100 publications and five edited texts. She also serves as a health policy columnist for Minority Nursing Magazine.

Blake Smith


President, American Association for Men in Nursing

Blake K. Smith, MSN, RN, practices as a Clinical Documentation Sr Analyst at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, NE. In his position, he leads all projects on Patient Education/Health Literacy, Plan of Care, Business Continuity Access, and Promoting Interoperability for the health system enterprise. Smith advocates for clinicians to be successful in delivering efficient and quality information to improve health outcomes in the Omaha community.  He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholar alum (2011-2012) and served as the first Chair of the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholars Network as a founding member. He locally serves as a member of the Nebraska Action Coalition (NAC) Diversity Task Force and Leadership Committee and president of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Emerging Professionals Program at Nebraska Medicine/University of Nebraska Medical Center. Smith is a leader in men’s health and male inclusion issues in the nursing profession and currently serves as the youngest president for the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) in its 46-year history. 

Smith started his advocacy for nursing and our communities as a nursing student and was selected twice to attend the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Academy to speak with congress on health-related issues from a student’s perspective for undergraduate and graduate work. Smith has presented internationally on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the nursing workforce as well as developing the first chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing (AAMN) in the state of Nebraska and is a proud member of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). He serves nationally as a member of The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion National Steering Committee and board of directors for the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC). 

Smith's educational degrees include a Bachelors in Science in Exercise Science Research from Nebraska Wesleyan University, BSN from Nebraska Methodist College, and an MSN in Nursing Health Systems Administration from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has received honors as a “40 under 40” Nurse Leader of Nebraska from the Nebraska Action Coalition, a two-time recipient of the “Daisy Award” from The DAISY Foundation for direct patient care, and life-time “Horizon Award” recipient from Nebraska Methodist College in Omaha, NE for his work in volunteerism.

Eileen Sullivan-Marx


President, American Academy of Nursing

Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN is dean of the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor. She is the current President of the American Academy of Nursing, becoming a fellow in 1997, and has been a member of the American Nurses Association since the mid-1970s. Dr. Sullivan-Marx became a nurse practitioner in 1980 at the University of Rochester. Her areas of specialty are community based older adult care and Medicare payment for nurses/nurse practitioners.

Carmela “Cammie” Townsend

Eastern Region of Constituent and State Nurses Associations Executive Director, ANA-Massachusetts

I am the Executive Director of ANA Massachusetts. I have a DNP focused in Education and served as an Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for undergraduate programs and a Director of Nursing for a diverse community college program. I was the co-author of African American Nurses' Perspectives on a Leadership Development Program, published in JONA in July 2020. Funded research includes being co-investigator of the Sayre Memorial Scholar and Mary Elizabeth Carnegie Grant from the ANF.

Submit Your Story

The Commission is harnessing the power of storytelling to describe the demoralization, exclusion, and trauma that nurses from marginalized and underrepresented races and ethnicities experience in the workplace to examine and understand the issue of racism within nursing.

Capturing all perspectives and insights – the good and the bad – is key to forge change in the nursing profession. Share your stories of experiencing:

  • Discrimination based on your race or ethnicity.
  • Racist attitudes, actions, micro or macro agressions.
  • Allyship, mentorship, resilience and perseverance.

If you have video, photos or other images that represents or conveys your experience, feel free to upload with your story. You can still share your story without uploading any images.


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