National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education

Event Details

Diversity & Inclusion: Facilitating Race-Related Discourse that Matters

Jun 29, 2018 08:00 AM - Jun 29, 2018 05:00 PM
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Address: 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, 8th Floor
Untitled Document summer-series-headers

When we create novel curriculum that fails to connect the content to what is happening in society, teaching and learning becomes an exercise in futility

During a classroom discussion, the educator shares that diabetes is more prevalent among African Americans and Hispanics and asks students to consider how nurses could reduce the risk for diabetes. One student responds “We should teach them the importance of diet and exercise because they are usually obese and that’s a risk factor.” Except for a few audible sighs, an eerie silence blankets the room, and a wave of angst permeates the air. The educator, not quite sure how best to respond, quietly affirms that obesity is a risk factor for diabetes and abruptly starts a new topic. What just happened?

A substantial number of educators choose not to discuss race in the classroom. Indeed, fears related to saying the wrong thing, sounding biased or being perceived as prejudiced could mute conversations that contextualize race and extinguish negative stereotypes. In 2003, the Institute of Medicine legitimized and illuminated that health care providers are not immune to the sequelae of racial discrimination. Still today, race remains a strong predictorrace remains a strong predictor of the quality of health care that is received. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has amplified the unintended consequences of discriminationunintended consequences of discrimination and how negative attitudes and thoughts, albeit unconscious, threaten to undermine the national health equity movement.

Highly effective educators who are prepared to facilitate race-related discourse and interrupt negative assumptions linked to race are critical to the elimination of health care disparities. This workshop uses the multicultural education work of James Banks to strengthen the capacity of educators to create learning environments that contextualize race, disrupt negative stereotypes, and allow students to collectively construct and restructure thoughts regarding what determines health. Administrators and educators who seek to deconstruct mental models that perpetuate health care disparities and uphold the tenets of health equity should attend this workshop.

Learning Objectives
  • Discuss the impetus for discussing race in the classroom
    • Briefly review historical reports that recognize disparities and set the stage for health equity
    • Use visual thinking strategies to uncover implicit bias
  • Describe common perils of discussing race
    • Provide scenarios/case presentations that demonstrate the challenges of discussing race
  • Analyze best practices for contextualizing race and difference
    • Share authentic race-related encounters
    • Share work of Sue and others
    • Provide case presentations to demonstrate how the challenges of discussing race can be neutralized
  • Demonstrate effective ways to facilitate race-related discourse
    • Participants create and enact race-related encounters
    • Participants observe simulated race-related conversations of peers
  • Share the skills of a highly effective educator
    • Participants reflect on peer presentations
    • Participants create a list of best practices that can be used in and outside of the classroom
    • Participants identify one goal and report back to group in October
    • Provide a mechanism for ongoing support in this area


Dr. Kenya V. Beard, EdD, AGACNP-BC, NP-C, CNE, ANEF
Dr. Beard is an Associate Professor at the CUNY School of Professional Studies and a 2012 Josiah Macy Faculty Scholar. Prior to returning to the City University of New York, she was Associate Vice President for Curriculum and Instruction at Jersey College. She is the Founding Director for the Center for Multicultural Education and Health Disparities, and disseminated research and best practices that have moved the needle on diversity, inclusion, and health equity. Dr. Beard is a Faculty Scholar for the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington School of Nursing, where she co-produces HealthCetera segments for WBAI-FM. She also co-leads the Leadership Mentoring Program for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties to strengthen the preparedness of culturally diverse nurse leaders.