NBNA president to deliver Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture Jan. 17

Headshot of Martha Dawson, DNPMartha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, president of the National Black Nurses Association, will present the 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture on Monday, Jan. 17, noon-1 p.m. CST. Co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Vanderbilt School of Medicine, this year’s MLK Day lecture will be held virtually via Zoom. Attendees can join using passcode MLKDay.

Dawson will present “Beyond diversity: Achieving organization excellence through a conceptual lens.” She will discuss how organizational leaders must embrace new approaches and take charge of their organization’s climate and culture in order to create an environment that sees diversity as a building block toward achieving excellence.

Nationally and internationally recognized as a global thought leader in nursing and health systems administration, Dawson is an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. Her practice, clinical and research focus is health systems and nursing leadership. She has served as the principal investigator, project director and coordinator on HRSA and foundation grants exceeding $3.5 million.

In the past 20 months, she has written and presented extensively on COVID-19 and Black communities. She is a co-convener of the national Black Coalition Against COVID-19, and most recently, was appointed to the National Commission on Racism in Nursing and the Advisory Board for Direct Relief Health Equity Fund.

Dawson is a scholar in the Sparkman Global Health Center at UAB, fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow alumna, and Johnson & Johnson Wharton Nurse Administrative Fellow alumna. Among her many honors are the American Organization of Nurse Executives Prism Award for Diversity, President’s Teaching Excellence Award, Graduate Dean’s Mentorship Award, Madeline R. Zaworski Award for Outstanding Leadership, and the Lillian Holland Harvey Award.

She earned her bachelor of nursing and master of nursing degrees from UAB and her doctor of nursing practice degree at Case Western University.

This is the 21st year of Vanderbilt’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture sponsored by the School of Medicine and School of Nursing.