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Engaging Diverse Communities and Promoting Health

At no time in history has the world been so interconnected. Living and working in a global society—with a range of health concerns and diverse populations—requires specialized education for nurses to prepare them to champion public health and human rights around the world.

Lisa Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN; Associate Professor of Nursing, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusio...

“Advocacy for vulnerable populations, populations that are underrepresented for appropriate health care, and addressing health disparities is firmly in nursing’s DNA—the profession, at its core, draws individuals who want to serve and to help and to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Lisa Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Professor of Nursing, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion


Whether from a clinical perspective, a research mindset, or through a broader lens, understanding the infrastructure that can build or break barriers to health care as well as engaging community and global competencies is what sets an excellent nurse apart from the rest.

A modern nursing outlook requires revolutionary professionals who have the ability to develop bold new ideas and practices that work with diverse communities to find solutions to formidable health challenges and promote health. Do more to achieve more.

The Path Forward

Penn Nursing has long embraced social justice as one of its core values. We recently heightened our efforts to create a strategy for more tangible, far-reaching results. Our ultimate goal is to serve as a model for other nursing educators and the nursing community at-large—adopting actions that are sustainable and measurable across education, policy, and practice.

Additionally, our research and clinical expertise benefits those who live and work in communities all around us. These communities in turn help us to truly understand what we seek to learn in the classroom, lab, and clinical setting.

Nurse listens to senior patient's heartSocial justice and community engagement influence how we communicate, translate, and apply nursing knowledge. We are committed to incorporating social justice into our teaching practice and community engagement to improve health and promote positive social change in Philadelphia and around the world. Goal: $7M over five years.

The Nursing Social Justice Project: Penn Nursing is seeking to launch the Nursing Social Justice Project to implement strategies across education, research, and nursing practice to address social and other inequities in health and health care, while serving our communities. Our ultimate goal is transform the landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion for nursing, and by extension, the entire health care profession via targeted initiatives and ongoing community engagement.

Sample giving opportunities that comprise the Nursing Social Justice Project are below:

  • Social justice education: We are striving to transform how we prepare nurses to improve care delivery via anti-racism curriculum immersion/infusion, social justice fellowships, and learning resources and social justice training for faculty and staff.

  • Community service internships: We are seeking funding for students to work on community service projects as well as internships that focus on identifying and helping to eradicate health disparities.

  • Scholarships: Financial aid for first-generation and underrepresented students is an evergreen priority.

  • Research: We desire to build the most diverse faculty who are conducting research to improve the lives of under-represented individuals and communities and also seek funding for research to improve health and wellness.

  • Endowed and term chairs and visiting professorships with a social justice bent will also be a component of the Nursing Social Justice Project.

To support the path forward for Penn Nursing’s giving priorities and to learn more about how you can help advance the School’s strategic plan, please contact:

Nadina R. Deigh
Vice Dean, Institutional Advancement
(215) 746-6184