My Heart Breaks A Little More…

Ya’ll may have figured out that I am a long-time fan of The Man in Purple. He just came across as a decent (and flamboyant!) human being. I never heard misogyny in his lyrics, which is the thing that puts me off of a lot of modern stuff. He celebrated a healthy self image and healthy sexuality and he did it with a hell of a lot of flair.

So, although I am not usually more than momentarily sad over the death of a celebrity, the loss of Prince Rogers Nelson earlier this month really hit me hard. I’m genuinely sad that he’s gone. The world was a better place with a touch of purple, wasn’t it?

And then I watch this:

All of the feels. ūüė¶


Woman Crush Wednesday

My WCW this week is Chimamanda Ngozi. She is a writer, not a nurse, but her words about our tendency to tell a single story and accept that story as representative of an entire culture are applicable to the fight for increased diversity in health care.




Nursing is far from the only profession suffering from a lack of diversity. Even professions with ample diversity have an issue with their public face lacking diversity – that is to say, they are generally portrayed as white men.

This is the focus of a blog started by Helena Price called Techies which shares portraits and stories from a variety of folks who work in Silicon Valley. Her portraits are stunning and the stories are fantastic Рso many people, doing so many awesome things quietly and competently. We need to bring more attention to the good things people are doing.


Man Crush Monday

My Man Crush Monday today is Dr. Eddie Moore.


I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Moore present this workshop at a conference last year:

The N!gga(er) Word: Is There a Message in The Madness?
Who is allowed to say the N!igga (er) word? What do we do/say when N!gga (er) is said in our classrooms, hallways, practice fields, dinner table, cafeterias and resident halls? Ignoring the N!gga (er) word is not an option anymore ‚Äď You can hear N!gga everywhere in the 21st century.

Participants are challenged to examine their personal/professional histories with N!gga (er), when and/or how they first heard N!gga (er) and pictures/feelings associated with the word. The workshop encourages all people, but specifically young people/future leaders, to consider the ramifications of casual or uniformed usage of a powerful and troublesome word.*

Here is an educational clip that Dr. Moore provides on his website:

I grew up in the deep South, and of course I heard derogatory words about black people, but they weren’t used in our house. My mother considered that particular word dehumanizing and we weren’t allowed to use it. I haven’t ever used it, and you’ll notice that I haven’t even written it – that’s how strong my ingrained inhibition is. To be fair, there are derogatory words generally directed towards other groups that I cannot bring myself to use, either. ¬†So, Dr.Moore’s workshop wasn’t an easy one for me to attend, but it was extremely valuable in terms of understanding the issues surrounding derogatory terms – what they are and why we use or avoid them.

If your organization needs a dynamic speaker/presenter that will make your attendees really think about the issues at hand, look no further. This is your guy.


Food for Thought Friday

Last year, there was a fire in a daycare center at a Mosque in Florida. It was reported on the local news channel’s Facebook page. Internet commenters being the lovely folks they are, you can imagine what was posted about the fire. In this video, American Muslims read and react to some of the comments.

I love that they’re responding to hate with humor, because hate deserves ridicule. It deserves to be exposed and mocked and seen as what it is: unacceptable. Enjoy your weekend, everyone – I’m back next week with another Man Crush Monday.


Is Activism Effective?

Sometimes, dear readers, it feels as if fighting the injustice we see in the world is like the punishment of¬†Sisyphys, condemned for eternity to roll a boulder uphill only to have it roll down again. And I feel tired, and hopeless. That has been the case all week – there are lots of things going on in my state and in neighboring states that frustrate me to no end. My campus is losing a key player in the fight for diversity and inclusion, and I can’t even blame that person for seeking greener pastures. I am not sure I’d have had the patience to stay as long as he did. The boulder is rolling downhill.

And then I read Raced-Based Activism is Changing College Campuses, by Dr. Lisa Wade. From the article:

The American Council on Education asked 567 presidents about their experience with and response to activists on campus organized around racial diversity and justice.

Almost¬†half (47%)¬†of presidents at 4-year institutions said that such activism was occurring on their campuses and that the dialogue about such matters had increased (41%). The majority (86%) had met with student organizers more than once and more than half (55%) said that the ‚Äúracial climate‚ÄĚ on campus was more of a priority ¬†than it had been just a few years ago. The trends for 2-year institutions were weaker, but in the same direction.

The boulder may be rolling downhill right now, but each time it does so the path is just a bit shorter, and we get the boulder higher on the hill during the next push. There’s hope, my friends. We cannot let ourselves lose sight of that fact. Again, from the article: 5-3

Dr. Wade cautions that it is premature to assume that all of these changes will have positive outcomes, but it is clear that the efforts of students, professors and allies across the board ARE making a difference. Don’t lose sight of that!

Back to the boulder.


Woman Crush Wednesday

My Woman Crush Wednesday is the incomparable Franchesca Ramsey, aka Chescaleigh. Here’s one of her classics:

And another:

Seriously, this woman is smart, funny, and on point. If you haven’t subscribed to her YouTube channel yet, you are missing out.


The Affordable Care Act & Uninsured Men

This post isn’t about nursing, per se, but it is about health disparities. Health disparities are one of the problems that I think will be at least partially solved by addressing the racial, ethnic, gender and sexual make-up of health care providers, so it is reasonable to look at other aspects of the issue and (pragmatist that I am) offer solutions.

This one has an easy partial solution: reach out to uninsured men who are eligible for subsidized insurance and encourage them to enroll. According to this brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 44% of uninsured non-elderly men are eligible for financial assistance. Health coverage would go a long way toward reducing health disparities in this population. If you know folks who are uninsured, it might not be a bad idea to refer them to so they can find out what sort of help is available to them.