Social Justice and Equity Workshops

Submitted by ADonahue on October 1, 2021

Schedule an NNU Social Justice Workshop today! 

The Division of Social Justice and Equity offers a series of interactive, action-oriented workshops to support union nurses’ in advancing racial justice and gender justice in our workplaces and beyond. The workshops are intended to build our collective power to confront some of the most crucial social justice struggles of our time. Participants will leave these workshops with a deepened understanding of how structural injustice operates; skills to name, understand, and overcome racism and gender oppression; and fire in our bellies to use our collective power to transform society. 

To schedule, the workshop series or a single workshop, please send an email to: SocialJusticeEquityInfo@NationalNursesUnited.Org  

We are offering three workshops:  

  • Gender Justice for Nurses and For All People! (4 hours)  
  • Nurses United for Racial Justice (4 hours)  
  • Bargaining for Racial and Gender Justice (2 hours)

Gender Justice for Nurses and for All People!  

In nursing, you can see both the beauty and the shame of American society. Nurses are the backbone of our medical system, experts in caring for both a patient’s body and their spirits. Nurses are skilled, compassionate, and deeply committed. Their care helps sustain patients and their families through the fear, grief, and heartbreak of illness and injury. At the same time, nurses are continuously devalued and deprioritized within U.S. healthcare. They work in oppressive conditions and often endure discrimination and disrespect on the job. In this part one of this workshop, Gender at Work, we will look at how the experiences of nurses—who are overwhelmingly women and gender non-conforming people—are grounded in a larger system of gender-based oppression and discrimination. In part two, Stronger Together, we will imagine an alternative society that upholds and demands gender justice. Throughout the series, we will draw collective inspiration from the work we have done within our ranks and the rousing leadership of the union. Nurses can play a unique role in charting a path toward dignity for all people ​regardless of gender identity or expression​. This workshop series hopes to help us define and begin to fulfill that role.  

Nurses United for Racial Justice  

As a union, we have declared that racism is a public health crisis. From the bedside to the picket line, nurses have experienced how racism is toxic for our patients, our communities, and our own health and well-being. So how can we dismantle racism and build a society grounded in justice? During this two-part workshop we will think together about how structural racism operates in and outside of our workplaces and where we can act to make change. In part one of the workshop, “What’s going on?”, we will examine how the experiences of nurses are grounded in a larger system of structural racism. We’ll look to our own union’s history to identify how nurses can and have dismantled structural racism in our workplaces. In part two, “Where do we go from here?”, we will imagine an alternative society that upholds and demands racial justice. Recognizing that the fight for racial justice and social change are interconnected, we will chart a path forward to leverage our collective power as union nurses to advance racial justice and transform society. 

Bargaining for Racial and Gender Justice

Nurses are in a unique position to use their collective power to confront the public health crises of racism and gender discrimination. Bargaining for racial and gender justice strengthens nurses’ ability to provide the best possible care for their patients at the bedside, while also doing all they can to shape practices and policies in their communities. During this workshop, we will explore together how union nurses bring their power to the bargaining table to fiercely advocate for their patients in the face of injustice, to advocate for themselves as workers and community members, and to advance the demands of mass movements to bring about a better world for all people.  

Our core racial and gender justice workshops are ideal for all nurses who care about patient well-being and creating just workplaces.  Each 4-hour workshop can be scheduled for a single day, or it can be broken up into two 2-hour modules to fit nurses’ busy schedules.  We recommend taking workshops as a complete series, however, 2-hour modules can be tailored to the needs of your group.   

For groups of nurse leaders who are more advanced and/or are heading to the bargaining table, we highly recommend adding our 2-hour bargaining for social justice workshop to the core racial and gender series, for a full two-day experience.   

Any group 10 or more union nurses can schedule a workshop. The only prerequisite is to be open to exploring how nurses can use our unique position to confront the public health crises of racism and gender discrimination together!