September 3rd, 2021
Dear Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing (LSBFON) community,
We, the members of the Graduate Nurses’ Student Society (GNSS), would like to express our unfaltering solidarity with all marginalized populations that have been discriminated against this past year and beyond. Systemic racism permeates all facets of our institutions and our society and as such, we are unequivocally denouncing all forms of racism, prejudice, injustice, and inequity that occur within our faculty, our profession, and our society. As a student group, we strive to be an equitable and inclusive community that supports the human rights of all persons, based on compassion, mutual understanding and respect for diverse cultures, religions, and ideas. GNSS continues to honour and respect the diversity that is seen within our community that includes but is not limited to gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, religion, class, and socioeconomic status. This statement is a formal acknowledgement of our commitment to be an ally to all marginalized groups and honour the principles of equity and social justice that are central to the nursing profession.
As a student organization, we have made advancements in supporting and spearheading panel discussions surrounding various equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) issues. Although we are committed to creating a supportive environment that uplifts EDI initiatives, we acknowledge that there are long roads ahead in our mission of cultivating an inclusive, diverse, and equitable space for all graduate nursing students. This past year, GNSS has done the following to support our EDI goals:
- Development of the inaugural GNSS Black and Indigenous Award with the goal of raising $50,000.
- Black Futures Month webinar series.
- Anti-Asian racism and discrimination panel discussion event.
- Highlighting the work of healthcare leaders in Indigenouscommunities’panelevent.
- Supporting the newly developed EDI committee at the University of Toronto’s Bloomberg Nursing department.
- Contributed to the Curriculum Committee Working Groups (e.g., Indigenous Health Nursing Working Group and the Black Health Equity Working Group).
- Collaborated with the University of Toronto’s Bloomberg Nursing department to create a confidential student disclosure framework.
- Development of a Sr. EDI Director position on the GNSS executive team and in the process of implementing an inaugural Jr. EDI Director position for the 2021-2022 academic year.
We want to continue our efforts to serve as a pledge of our ongoing commitment to end systemic racism, discrimination, and inequities. As a student organization, we value the ongoing journey of learning and (un)learning our commitment to break down racist and structural barriers which impede students in achieving their full potential. At GNSS, we will continue our efforts to promote equity in nursing education, supportEDIinitiatives, and uplift the voices of our diverse student population. We welcome any suggestions and constructive feedback to better support the LSBFON community.
Graduate Nurses’ Student Society (GNSS) 2021-2022