Event featuring poetry readings and a display of rock art showcases the collaboration between members of the Black community and the Ingram School of Nursing in addressing issues of anti-Black racism in healthcare.

Nursing and art are not usually mixed together,” noted Ingram School of Nursing (ISoN) Faculty Lecturer Anne-Laurie Beaubrun at an event at the School held on February 28th celebrating Black History Month. Yet, judging by the success of the event, which featured a display of colourful rock art created by nursing students and Black community members as well as poetry readings, perhaps the two should be mixed more often.

As guests arrived, they were invited to choose a rock that spoke to them and attach it to a hanging display from the ceiling, a visible symbol of the power of community in creating change and meaning. Originally created and painted by nursing students, the rocks were then presented to Black community members at an event held in September at Afro Musée. They, in turn, took the rocks and painted their visions of what they hoped to see from this collaboration. Coming full circle, the rocks were brought back to the ISoN, where they will be displayed as a symbol of the School’s commitment to long-term collaboration with Black communities in Montreal.

In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Beaubrun, who served as emcee for the evening, explained that as part of McGill University’s Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism, the ISoN was awarded a grant in 2022 to connect with organizations and members of Montreal’s Black community and take collaborative action to address anti-Black racism in nursing education and healthcare. She shared some of the key insights gained to date and the next steps in this endeavour.

In introducing her original poem, Dajena Victor, a Montreal poet of Haitian origin who serves as Faculty Lecturer at the ISoN, commented, “Acknowledging our past makes it easier to face the future.” Several other faculty and audience members read original works as well as poems and a children’s story book that had particular resonance for them around the themes of change and resilience.

The event also showcased Black-owned businesses – catering was provided by 3Couteaux, while Découverte Lokal offered six gift boxes packed with various products for the raffle.

Kudos to the event’s organizing committee: Anne-Laurie Beaubrun, Kimani Daniel, Amanda Cervantes, Dajena Victor, Jodi Tuck, Andraea Van Hulst, Josée Lavallée, Irene Sarasua, Catherine-Anne Miller, Irem Karaaslan, & Jayalakshmi Caliaperumal.

Three guests admire the chain of art rock representing the collaboration between Black community members and the Ingram School of Nursing.
Guests admire the chain of art rock representing the collaboration between Black community members and the Ingram School of Nursing.