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AACN Statement on Academic Nursing's Call for Liberty and Justice for All

Published June 02, 2020

As the nation struggles to come to terms with the senseless, tragic killing of George Floyd, and those before him, the time has come to send a clear message that injustice and racism will no longer be tolerated. Together, academic nursing leaders and the larger healthcare community must rally against pervasive inequities in society and move forward with empathy, inclusiveness, and collective action.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that to remain neutral in situations of injustice is to have taken the side of the oppressor. Voices condemning systemic racism are growing louder as protests expressing outrage are occurring across the country. Many expressions of protest have been peaceful and purposeful, but regrettably, some have resulted in violence and destruction. With the opportunity before us to break through the wall of intolerance and address the uneven treatment that has long imperiled communities of color, we must not be distracted by those who threaten to unravel the fabric of American society.

As the voice of academic nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is guided by a mission that embraces diversity and promotes inclusive learning environments. Our member schools of nursing have endorsed the association's position statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Academic Nursing, which serves as a blueprint for addressing healthcare disparities and serving the greater good. AACN stands ready to help nurses lead in advancing human rights and reducing health inequities by developing a nursing workforce that is compassionate and respectful of the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual.

As the calls for meaningful change grow louder, nurse educators will do our part to speak out, take action, and create a preferred future that everyone so justly deserves. Together we will catalyze support for our nation's promise of liberty and justice for all.



Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, FAAN         
Chair, Board of Directors 

Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN 
President and Chief Executive Officer