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Two from Penn Nursing Join National Commission on Racism

Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN, Associate Professor, and Marcus Henderson, MSN, RN, Lecturer, both from Penn Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health, have been appointed to the American Nurses Association (ANA)’s National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.

The Commission will examine the issue of racism within nursing nationwide and work to address its impact on nurses, patients, communities, and health care systems to motivate all nurses to confront systemic racism.

“It is an honor to be invited to join this National Commission,” said Brawner, who also is Chair of the ANA’s National Advisory Committee Minority Fellowship Program. “I believe that nurses have the power and responsibility to turn the tide on racism to promote health, manage illness and facilitate a dignified death for all.”

“The nursing profession must reckon with its own history of racism in order to move forward,” said Henderson, who is also a member of the ANA Board of Directors. “It is an honor to serve on this National Commission as we work toward providing a path forward for the profession and our collective role in addressing racism within nursing and beyond.”

In addition to the ANA, the Commission is being led by the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA), and the 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.

The Commission aims to lead a national discussion by exploring the experiences of nurses of color to understand the impact of systemic racism and to develop an action-oriented approach across the spectrum of education, practice, policy, and research. Both Brawner and Henderson will serve one year on the Commission, which will conclude in December 2021.