Expand and Deepen Dialogue with our Black Community Members
Several initiatives were implemented within VUSN to demonstrate support of Black VUSN community members and to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the experiences of Black Americans.
VUSN for Black Lives Remembrance Day Event
On September 23, 2020, members of the VUSN family demonstrated solidarity for Black lives. A banner reading “VUSN for Black Lives” was placed in front of the VUSN building for a two-week period. This was followed by a solidarity event where small groups of no more than 10 VUSN community members knelt or stood in the VUSN roundabout (with masks and social distancing) for 9 minute intervals. Each community member held individually designed signs declaring, “I STAND for ____ (person, place or thing).” This event demonstrated solidarity for Black lives, especially those that have been lost to social injustices. Monitors within VUSN reflected a clock counting down 8 minutes and 46 seconds for an entire day to remind everyone of the atrocities George Floyd, in particular, encountered.
VUSN Black Faculty Support Group
During the 2020 - 2021 acadcemic year, Dean Rolanda Johnson organized the VUSN Black facultymembers in a group that meets monthly. This is a time for faculty to provide social support to one another, collaborate professionally, and develop strategies to enhance diversity and inclusion within VUSN.
Unraveling Social Injustice Literary Group
In the summer semester of 2020, a literary group, Unraveling Social Injustice, Let’s Talk About It, was formed by Dr. Rolanda Johnson.
Monthly sessions were held virtually to offer faculty and staff the opportunity to delve deeper into dialogue relevant to racism, diversity and inclusion using podcasts, books and book chapters. These sessions are facilitated by two faculty members and two staff members. To date, eight sessions have been held. The following literary pieces were included this past academic year:
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- New York Times Podcast – How the Bad Blood Started hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones
- The Fight for a True Democracy Podcast
- How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi — two sessions
- Coming Apart by Alice Walker
- The Social Construction of Racial Whiteness in Nursing Education in Historically and Predominantly White Schools of Nursing: Challenges for Black Nurse Faculty by Freida Outlaw, PhD, RN, APRN, FAAN — two sessions