NPWH honors Black History Month as a cultural marker that invites us to reflect on the history, culture, and politics of our nation’s vibrant and diverse African American population. We honor the unnamed and unrecognized people who worked in their communities as nurses when they weren’t allowed to obtain a formal education in nursing, and those throughout history who have become formally trained nurses despite racism and great adversity. At the same time, we recognize that racism continues to be a public health crisis, it is the other pandemic we face as a country.
There have been many dark days in the last year, and in the last 400 years. At the same time, the thread of ancestral light shimmers in the present. Kamala Harris is our nation’s first female Vice President. She is a woman of color, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica. On stage with her at the Inauguration was our nation’s first African American President and First Lady. In the wake of the death of their U.S. Representative John Lewis, one of our nation’s civil rights icons, Georgia elected its first African American and Jewish senators. Senator Warnock had been serving as pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist church once led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
NPWH recognizes the urgent and critically important work we must all do within ourselves, our organizations, our profession and within our country. We can take advantage of Black History Month to equip ourselves intellectually, culturally, and politically for the important work of reclaiming our humanity and progressing together toward a more genuine multicultural democracy.
In Celebration of Black History Month:
- Use your professional platform to educate, recognize and dismantle racism in health care
- Collaborate with Black led health care organizations to create supportive alliances for change
- Remind people that racial injustice still exists and health care disparities are real
- Share social media posts created by Black people to support health care justice
- Seek out and support Black owned businesses
- Reflect on the goals and commitments you made this year
- Honor those who have been doing anti-racism work for years
We are in this together.