Statement from Dr. Eric J. Williams, President, National Black Nurses Association:

I commend President Obama for his leadership in tackling gun violence, which hits communities of color and the poor the hardest.  Nurses, first responders and physicians are on the front lines, in the emergency rooms and hospital rooms, witnessing the devastation that gun violence brings on individuals, families and communities.   It is vital that our Nation seek solutions to reduce violence, particularly gun violence.  Moreover, reduction in violence of all forms, domestic violence, bullying in the work place, verbal and mental violence must end.

According to the Kelly Report:

  • Gun violence has killed more Americans in the past 50 years than any single war
  • gun violence poses a major threat in communities of color
  • each year more than 100,000 people are victims of gun violence and more than 30,000 die each year
  • individuals under age 25 , face the threat of gun violence.

As Nurses, we need to implement strategies to eliminate gun violence and create a culture of health where we live, work, play, and worship.

I am grateful that President Obama is pledging $500 million for mental health treatment.  It is clear that our mental health system needs improvement.   We know that those with mental health problems are more likely to harm themselves.  Yet, more and more people with mental health are harming others through physical violence.

We need the ingenuity of all health care providers, all citizens, to end violence.  The National Black Nurses Association will host its 28th Annual NBNA Day on Capitol Hill, Thursday, February 4, 2016.  The theme of this signature event is “Addressing the Epidemic of Violence: NBNA’s Call to Action.”  NBNA expects 300 nurses and nursing students to attend the all-day forum.  The President’s actions are a great start.  NBNA joins him in this national public health effort.

See also
Inclusion, Part 2: Changing the Culture

About NBNA

The National Black Nurses Association’s mission is to “represent and provide a forum for Black Nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.” For more information, please visit

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