DISRUPTING NURSING: Towards Anti-Racist and Decolonial Practice. Call for Papers Vol 3(1) Due February 14th, 2021


                                    DISRUPTING NURSING: Towards Anti-Racist and Decolonial Practice

                                                                    CALL FOR PAPERS VOL 3(1)

The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse is pleased to announce a special issue on critical anti-racism practice, including clinical, research, leadership and policy making practice. Racism is a pressing moral concern, embedded in colonial, imperial and capitalist foundations that are created, sustained and redeployed by systemic ruling relations. This issue builds upon a heightened global awakening of the interpersonal and structural violence of racism, inviting critical discourse regarding anti-racist nursing.

DeadlineFebruary 14th, 2021

Intended Focus of this Special Issue

In the aftermath of our collective witnessing of dehumanizing violence exemplified by the racism-provoked deaths of George Floyd and Joyce Echaquan, the focus of this call for papers is critical perspectives on anti-racist nursing. Disrupting Nursing is an invitation to nurses and allies to engage in critical discourse about nursing’s complicit role in perpetuating the structural violence of White supremacy, White privilege and racism, and to explore opportunities for the integration of anti-racist, anti-oppressive praxis to advance social justice. Specifically, we encourage dialogue that promotes and provokes action toward nursing’s moral imperative to move beyond inclusion of diverse ways of being, knowing, and doing (Andreotti et al., 2015), and to enact paths of resistance. This special issue challenges the historical, economic and sociopolitical discourses of race and racism, including how “the dynamics of racism and racial superiority are fundamental to ongoing colonisation” (Varcoe, Browne & Garneau, 2019, p. 251).

Nursing’s response to critically analyzing racism, while challenging colonization, is slow but unfolding. There is growing curiosity and commitment to expose nursing’s complicit role in maintaining and reproducing racist and colonial harms. This special issue is a call for nurses, and our entire disciplinary governance structures, to confront systematic marginalizing and racializing practices. This special issue intentionally seeks to provide an opportunity to promote understandings of the lived experiences and perspectives of racialized peoples through anti-racism, anti-oppression, and decolonizing lenses, while respecting the ethical space of engagement (Ermine, 2007). An intersectionality lens is encouraged, and submissions may include perspectives such as critical race theory, critical feminist perspectives, post-colonial perspectives, post-humanist perspectives, queer theory, transgender theory, and critical disability studies.


Some questions prospective authors/teams might consider:

  • How do nurses make personal, institutional and structural racism visible? What are the consequences of the continued enactment of colonialism in nursing and how does it impact individuals, families, communities, and nations? How do racism and intergenerational colonialist acts, such as Indigenous genocide and Canada’s legacies of Anti-Black slavery, intersect to shape the lived experiences of racialized peoples? And how does this intersection further reinforce health care systems as pivotal sites of recolonization, including the primacy of profit over people and the planet?
  • Given that nursing is historically and currently complicit in the production and reproduction of racial inequities, how do nurses, and especially nursing governance systems, understand and confront the roles nursing plays in perpetuating injustices? How might nurses, individually and collectively, engage in leadership and activism to ensure health equity for racialized peoples?
  • In what ways does recognizing and/or denying colonialism help to enact/deactivate decolonization and/or advance/erase ways of being, knowing and doing for racialized peoples?
  • Where do White privilege and White supremacy fit into anti-racist nursing practice and leadership? How can White nurses expose and address performance activism, and move to take action in allyship?

Potential topics may include but are not limited to:

  • explorations and critical analyses regarding nursing’s complicity in racist and anti-Indigenous discourse in practice (e.g., clinical, research, leadership and policy making practice)?
  • making White privilege and White supremacy visible in nursing education, research, policy making and leadership practice
  • creating positive change in education to address anti-Indigenous racism.
  • exploring worldviews that foster relational accountability and anti-oppressive praxis, drawing on knowledge and wisdom of nursing thought leaders from Indigenous, Black and racialized communities
  • uncovering and addressing structural racism in healthcare policies and practices
  • identifying barriers and facilitators of anti-racist nursing practice
  • challenging the dominance of Eurocentric evidence-based clinical practice
  • addressing the issue of assimilation of “othered” knowledge in contemporary healthcare systems and practices; engaging respectfully with “othered” knowledge systems
  • challenging cognitive imperialism and the domination of nursing’s domain of human-centric worldviews
  • analyzing practical strategies in critical anti-racist nursing education and mentorship


Manuscripts from students, clinicians, educators, researchers, administrators, and policy makers are welcome. Undergraduate Student submissions are welcomed, and such submissions are to be supported/mentored by a nursing faculty member, and this must be indicated in the cover letter.

Guidelines for Authors:

Submissions are to be nurse-authored or if submitted by a team, the lead author must be a nurse. Manuscripts should have a clear relevance to nursing. Additionally, Witness requires adherence to our authorship criteria, found at https://witness.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/default/AuthReq

Prospective authors must also familiarize themselves with the author guidelines set out in the journal found here:  https://witness.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/default/about/submissions .

DeadlineFebruary 14th, 2021


Note: All required materials must be submitted through the journal’s online portal at www.yorku.ca/witness, and adhere to journal’s and the Council on Publication Ethics’ guidelines including those associated with authorship, conflict of interest, originality etc. Please ensure author teams review our guidelines regarding ethical publication practices and manuscript development. Lastly, prospective authors must register with the journal in order to submit their work.

For any questions regarding the journal or this call for papers including a desire to discuss a proposed submission not included in the introductory list of possible topics and foci, please don’t hesitate to contact the editor, Dr. Cheryl van Daalen-Smith at witness@yorku.ca




Andreotti, V.d.O., Stein, S., Ahenakew, C. & Hunt, D. (2015). Mapping interpretations of decolonization in the context of higher education. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 4(1), 21-40. https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/22168

Battiste, M. (2019). Battiste, M. (2019). Empowering Indigenization Symposium. Mount Royal University. Calgary, Canada. May 13, 2019.

Canadian Nurses Association (2015). Framework for the practice of registered nurses in Canada. https://cna-aiic.ca/-/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/framework-for-the-pracice-of-registered-nurses-in-canada.pdf?la=en&hash=55716DC66A8C15D13972F9E45BE4AC7AE0461620

Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193-203.

Varcoe, C., Browne, A., & Garneau, A.B. (2019). Beyond stress and coping: the relevance of critical theoretical perspectives to conceptualising racial discrimination in health  research. Health Sociology Review, 28(3), 245-260. DOI: 10.1080/14461242.2019.1642124


For a PDF of the Call for Papers click here