Social Justice and Health Equity and Anti-Racism Commitment

Columbia Nursing’s commitment to social justice and health equity (SJHE) and anti-racism affirms our mission to foster the highest attainable level of health for everyone, by addressing unjust systems and structures that impede this ethical mandate. As a world-renowned urban institution with a global mission and a long history of supporting health and well-being as a human right, Columbia Nursing is uniquely positioned to lead efforts to achieve this mission.

We have adopted and stand by the following statement:

Columbia University School of Nursing condemns individual, systemic, and institutional racism and its disproportionately destructive impact on people of color. We are committed to eliminating racial inequities and are steadfast in our pursuit of eradicating health disparities by transforming the structures that perpetuate the injustice. We are resolved and dedicated in our pledge to take bold and enduring action to advance the school and our communities in equity and in health.

To achieve these goals, Columbia Nursing is implementing changes in our educational and research programs, clinical practice, operational strategies, and policies.

Social Justice Health Equity Committee

Columbia Nursing’s Social Justice and Health Equity Committee serves as the governing body for other Columbia Nursing working groups and committees focused on anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion. Comprised of faculty and staff, the committee meets regularly to assess the success of these efforts and plan future interventions.  

Committee Members

  • Lorraine Frazier, PhD, dean, School of Nursing, and senior vice president, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Kellie Bryant, DNP, assistant professor and assistant dean, Simulation and Clinical Affairs 
  • Kenrick Cato, PhD, assistant professor
  • Elizabeth Corwin, PhD, professor and vice dean, Strategic and Innovative Research
  • Jennifer Dohrn, DNP, associate professor and assistant dean, Global Initiatives
  • Stephen Ferrara, DNP, associate professor and associate dean, Clinical Affairs
  • Judy Honig, DNP, professor and vice dean, Academics and Dean of Students
  • Tonda Hughes, PhD, professor and associate dean, Global Health
  • Akil Johnson, director, Operations
  • Linda Muskat-Rim, associate dean, Strategic Communications and Marketing
  • Jacquelyn Tayor, PhD, professor and executive director, Center for Research on People of Color
  • Vivian Taylor, EdD, associate dean, Diversity and Cultural Affairs
  • Judy Wolfe, EdD, associate dean, Student Affairs

Anti-Racism Working Groups

The deans of the four Columbia University Irving Medical Center schools appointed the Task Force for Addressing Structural Racism in July 2020 to review approaches for reducing racism in health care and the health sciences.

Representatives from Columbia Nursing are involved in the task force and its working groups, which include:

CUIMC Working Group on Civility and Professionalism

Develops and recommends structures for promoting professionalism and behavioral expectations that demonstrate respect and value human dignity for all members of our Columbia Nursing community, with attention to race, ethnicity, gender identity, and gender orientation.

Nursing Representatives:

  • Adena Bargad, PhD, assistant professor and coordinator, Women's Health Subspecialty
  • Kenrick Cato, PhD, assistant professor
  • Judy Wolfe, EdD, associate dean, Student Affairs

CUIMC Working Group on Community and Public Service

Proposes and engages in strategies to address racism, support, and healing within Washington Heights, Harlem, and other local communities.

Nursing Representative:

  • Kellie Bryant, DNP, assistant professor and assistant dean, Simulation and Clinical Affairs

CUIMC Working Group on Racial Equity in Education

Develops and recommends methods to move toward anti-racist nursing education. Seeks to implement anti-racist curricula, programming, and training to address problematic racist terminology in medicine.

Nursing Representative:

  • Judy Honig, DNP, professor and vice dean, Academics and Dean of Students

CUIMC Working Group for Health Disparities Research

Investigates health disparities related to the structural and social determinants of health and solutions to these disparities.

Nursing Representative:

  • Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, professor and executive director, Center for Research on People of Color

CUIMC Working Group on the Recruitment and Retention of a Diverse Faculty

Recommends, supports, and implements revision of an academic tracking system to support the advancement of all faculty. The system will appropriately recognize all types of work that contribute to best practices in hiring and mentoring of faculty, with special attention to race, ethnicity, culture, and gender. 

Nursing Representative:

  • Elizabeth Corwin, PhD, professor and vice dean, Strategic and Innovative Research

Columbia Nursing Working Group on Recruitment of a Diverse Student Body

Review and assess Columbia Nursing’s recruitment and admissions processes to ensure a holistic admission framework to support admittance of a diverse student body.

Chair:

  • Judy Wolfe, EdD, professor and associate dean, Student Affairs

Columbia Nursing Working Group on Retention of a Diverse Student Body

Proposes and recommends best practices to help more students from low-resourced, first-generation, and underrepresented groups succeed in reaching their nursing career goals.

Co-Chairs:

  • Vivian Taylor, EdD, associate dean, Diversity and Cultural Affairs
  • Latisha Hanson, DNP, assistant professor and director, Diversity Programming
  • Rachael Samuel, assistant director, Student Support

Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee's goal is to support an intellectual learning environment that promotes social justice, innovative research, practice, and policy aimed at eliminating health inequalities.

Subcommittees include:

Diversity Subcommittee on Community and Education and Working Group on Community and Public Service

Researches and implements programs and collaborations that increase community engagement and target underrepresented groups in nursing. These efforts involve long-term pipeline programs and short-term implementable initiatives. Learn more about Columbia Nursing’s community initiatives.

Co-Chairs:

  • Kellie Bryant, DNP, assistant professor and assistant dean, Simulation and Clinical Affairs
  • Matthew Richardson, manager, Operations

Diversity Subcommittee on Fostering an Inclusive Environment

Acknowledges and values the contributions of all members of the Columbia Nursing community. Focuses on ongoing climate assessments and seeks ways to enhance and promote a sense of belonging and inclusion for faculty, staff, and students.

Co-Chairs: 

  • Madeline Henry, senior coordinator, Communications
  • Ana Kelly, PhD, RN, assistant professor 
  • Melanie Tiplady, senior coordinator, Academic Services