Oct. 18, 2021, marked a milestone moment for the School of Nursing community. On that day, the School's In UniSON anti-oppression position statement and commitments were introduced as a way to acknowledge the impact of structural racism and other forms of structural oppression on our country, communities, and School.
We continue to have ongoing conversations about not only our commitment but also our actions in support of that commitment. We recognize the importance of words, but even more important is what we do with those words.
We encourage you to stay tuned to hear from others on the progress of In UniSON and how, through accountability and collaboration, we will create positive change.
Today we ask: Will you join us in making a commitment to action?
In unison, the members of the University of Maryland School of Nursing acknowledge the devastating impact of structural racism and other forms of structural oppression on our country, communities, and School. We recognize the ways our institution was not, and still is not always, a welcoming and supportive place for all its constituents. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and people of color (BILPOC) have too often been the victims of oppression, incivility, racism, and discrimination. As a community, we oppose racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, ageism, and discrimination based on religion, heritage, ideology, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.
We condemn oppression in all forms within the School, among our partners, and in the broader community. We strive to understand how to make a more supportive, welcoming, and restorative community. We will work to stop the perpetuation of white supremacy, which results in the unfair treatment of our students, colleagues, patients, and neighbors. Our inaction, when our neighbors are deprived of quality education, fair policing, housing, employment, food, and health care, is not acceptable.
In unison, we advocate for a School that intentionally creates positive change to address structural oppression. This change requires strategic planning, collaboration, and accountability; silence, delayed action, retaliation, and victim blaming are not tolerated. This also requires eliminating bias in our curriculum, policies, and procedures and working side by side with our community members to advocate for police reform and equity in education, housing, and health care. We will have courageous conversations about structural oppression and work to create positive change.
We, in unison, will create an environment where all are welcomed and supported to be successful.
UniSON was formally launched on October 18, 2021.
To this end, the University of Maryland School of Nursing community strives to:
- embrace differences and be dedicated to listening to others’ stories and experiences openly
- recognize our shared humanity and commonalities across cultures and identities
- acknowledge sometimes uncomfortable realities and understand our place within these truths
- raise awareness to identify our own biases and prejudices so that we may modify our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors
- demonstrate respect for all people by using inclusive language, acknowledging the value of every member of our community, and inviting collaboration and true partnership
- be courageous and speak up when witnessing microaggressions and other forms of offensive speech or behavior
- challenge and work to change policies and practices that discriminate against or negatively impact groups of people
- create authentic ways to share and promote inclusivity and equity in the workplace and in social and personal environments
- hold the School, colleagues, and ourselves accountable for creating change.
Note: The authors wish to acknowledge the importance of using inclusive, affirming language. Language continues to evolve, and we seek to continue to update our language to demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please send suggestions, concerns, and ideas to this form.