The American Nurses Association and the American Federation of Teachers both passed resolutions last week calling for racial justice and action to combat racism.
The ANA resolution, Racial Justice for Communities of Color, was passed on June 20 as part of the association’s Membership Assembly, which was held virtually this year.
The resolution states, in part, that:
Racism is a public health crisis that impacts the mental, spiritual, and physical health of all people. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements obligates nurses to be allies and to advocate and speak up against racism, discrimination, and injustice. Consistent with this obligation, ANA has taken positions against racism, discrimination and health care disparities and advocating for human rights.
ANA, along with nurses everywhere, are again called to action. Collectively, we must emerge from silence and speak with one strong voice as leaders and role models of compassion and empathy for our patients, families, communities and most importantly, towards one another. Our voice is our commitment to making a difference in all that we do for those we serve.
ANA pledges, among other things, to oppose racism and discrimination; condemn brutality by law enforcement; educate, advocate, and collaborate to end systemic racism, particularly within nursing; and advocate for the ending of health inequities within communities and health care systems that stem from systemic racism.
Read the full resolution.
The American Federation of Teachers Executive Council on June 17 passed a resolution, Confronting Racism and in Support of Black Lives, that lays out 19 commitments to combat systematic racism and violence against Black people, including the separation of school safety from policing and police forces.
The council resolved to support community allies that are spearheading this work, including Black Lives Matter, Color of Change and the NAACP, and committed to demilitarize policing and support national efforts to provide oversight of states through federal legislation prohibiting police brutality. This includes supporting transparent legal procedures for holding police officers accountable for misconduct and violations of law.
The resolution comes on the anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and in the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, and as the union reflects on centuries of oppression of Black Americans.
The resolution builds on the work of the AFT’s Racial Equity Task Force to combat anti-Blackness and its harmful effects. It calls for cultural competency and implicit bias training for our local leaders and members, to encourage a better understanding between students, patients and the communities they serve.
Read the full resolution.
Read the press release.