About Our Academic Chapters

About the academic chapter CBNA-McMaster

CBNA-McMaster hopes to connect Black nursing students across all sites, levels and streams of McMaster’s nursing program. With the support of the CBNA, CBNA-Mac works diligently to equip Black nursing students with resources for successful academic journeys, ensure their equal access to opportunities, and inspire them to step boldly into their nursing careers. All while helping them with any challenges they may face.

Advocacy, empowerment and leadership are the three pillars of our Chapter’s mission.

About the CBNA-Mac co-president

Abigail Owusua Ankomah, is currently enrolled in level three (year two) of the post RPN-BScN stream. She has actively participated in CBNA since embarking on her journey at McMaster in 2022, where she had the privilege to serve as the executive secretary during the 2022-2023 academic year. Beyond her involvement with CBNA, she also represented the RPN-BScN cohort for both Mohawk and Conestoga at McMaster Undergraduate Nursing School Society (MUNSS) during the 2022-2023 academic year. Additionally, she contributed to the planning committee for Welcome Week representatives, where she served as one of the Mohawk Day Coordinators this past summer.

Currently, she holds the role of student mentor for both the nursing society and the Black student mentorship program. She is deeply grateful for CBNA, as it has provided her with a sense of belonging and community as a black nursing student across all sites and streams. The club’s dedication to inclusivity, academic excellence, and mentorship strongly aligns with her personal goals in post-secondary education. 

She is eager to give back to the community that has supported her throughout her journey and is passionate about continuing for years to come.

About the CBNA-Mac co-president

Lily Brown is currently in her third year of the Conestoga College-McMaster University nursing program. In previous years, Lily has been a member of CBNA-Mac’s executive team as a Liaison. Currently, Lily co-leads the club of 9 members as a Co-President and is ecstatic to increase her involvement within the club as well as her impact on the local nursing community. This year CBNA-Mac has hosted events such as Mixers, Let’s Talk About It and various collaborations. The team anticipates having  events filled semester for the next term!

Lily has been consistently driven to make changes within her community – taking part in activist groups since she was young. In high school, she was a driving force in the creation of a union for people of colour and co-hosted an educational podcast during BHM. Her contributions to the community have been recognized by the Canadian Caribbean Association of Waterloo Region, Sunbeam Community and Developmental Services and the Waterloo Chapter of the Congress of Black Women of Canada.

As she progressed into the nursing profession, Lily noticed the clear discrepancies between black healthcare practitioners and their non-black counterparts. Luckily, Lily was able to find CBNA and CBNA-Mac early in her journey. Within both spaces, Lily felt empowered to advocate for herself and her peers. In her new role, Lily hopes that she will continue to foster a space that encourages fellow black nursing students to grow to new heights in the healthcare sector and can be one of the many models of the strength and resilience of black healthcare professionals.

About the academic chapter CBNA-UofT

CBNA-University of Toronto (CBNA-UofT) is a chapter created by 

 

About the CBNA-University of Toronto president

Sarah Elkhalifa, currently in her second year of nursing at the University of Toronto, serves as the President of the CBNA-UofT chapter. She is dedicated to fostering an empowering environment for Black nursing students at the university, building on the foundational work of the CBNA.

Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo in 2022, where her passion for life sciences and human health began. Her studies underscored the significant influence of social factors and broader systems on health outcomes and healthcare delivery, particularly the disparities affecting BIPOC Canadians. Motivated by her commitment to social justice, Sarah was inspired to contribute meaningfully to addressing these issues in the healthcare field. At the University of Waterloo, she was an executive of RAISE (Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity), the first group of its kind on campus. It functioned as a peer support group, an educational resource for students and the community, and hosted several social events aimed at community building.

Since beginning nursing school, Sarah has sought similar opportunities to make a difference by joining the faculty’s EDIIR (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenous Reconciliation) committee and CBNA. More recently, as a co-founding member of CBNA UofT, she aspires to leverage her insights to drive positive change for Black nursing students, promoting a sense of belonging and amplifying Black voices in healthcare.

 

About the academic chapter CBNA-UAlberta

CBNA-University of Alberta (CBNA-UAB) is a chapter created by Black nursing students for Black nursing students. Along with the CBNA we are dedicated to the service of our community within the University of Alberta and to creating an enabling and capacity-building platform that propels nurses to academic and professional excellence in all spheres of society. 

 

About the CBNA-Alberta president

Precious Majekodunmi is currently completing her third year of the University of Alberta Collaborative Nursing program. She serves as the president of CBNA-UAB and has guided the club with the support of dedicated executive members and alumni. She aims to foster a sense of community among Black nursing students. Precious strongly believes in the significance of making Black nursing students feel supported and empowered. This can be achieved through the exchange of expertise as nursing students and shared lived experiences.

Precious is passionate about advocating for the betterment of the challenges that nursing students face and aims to create opportunities that enhance the professional development of Black nursing students. She places emphasis on ensuring that first year students are aware of CBNA early on to provide them with a community, networks and several resources.

Looking ahead, Precious plans to execute fun and inspirational events throughout the year. She is ecstatic about the opportunity to advocate for increased representation and a healthcare system that reflects the diversity of colour and experiences. Beyond her role at CBNA-UAB, Precious also serves as the nursing faculty representative on the student council at her university and she envisions integrating both roles strategically to bring about positive change.

Precious is grateful and honoured to be a part of CBNA-UAB and eagerly anticipates the remarkable achievements that lie ahead.

 

About the academic chapter CBNA-Université de Montréal

CBNA-Université de Montréal (CBNA-UDEM) is a chapter created by francophone nursing students of all backgrounds. Given the lack of diversity in the faculty, CBNA-UDEM wants to create a safe environment where students of colour can grow together and feel seen and protected. Along with CBNA national, this academic chapter is dedicated to ensuring that Black nursing students have the resources they need to succeed. 

 

About the CBNA-Université de Montréal president

Shekinaah is a second year student at the faculty of nursing of Université de Montréal. She is the president of CBNA-UDEM and has been leading this chapter with 11 amazing nursing students. Jointly, they organized study dates, informational posts and collaborative events. Their purpose is to raise awareness about the struggle that plagues Black communities. 

Shekinaah is an energetic person who is willing to do anything to put a smile on people faces. Outside of CBNA, Shekinaah is devoted to her community and serves in different spheres. She worked alongside kids and the youth of her local church. Her purpose is to be a part of the change for people who who like her wants to grow in a world where there is equity and love. 

She is grateful to be apart of CBNA-UDEM and with her team she will be able elevate the Black voices in the healthcare community. She believes that future generation should be able do what they love with being stopped by theirs skin colors. She is fighting for a better healthcare system that actually represents the colors of the world we live in.

About the academic chapter CBNA-McGill

CBNA-McGill University (CBNA-McGill) is a chapter created by Black Francophone nursing students. Along with the CBNA national CBNA-McGill is on a mission to empower the local Black community by giving them to tools they need to be their own advocates in their care. Our goal is to establish ourselves as a stronghold for developing as nursing students the attributes of leadership and self-assurance that will enable us to be the future faces of Black healthcare excellence in the nursing profession.

 

About the CBNA-McGill president

Bryanna Jean-Jacques is now completing her second year of the Ingram School of Nursing’s bachelor of science program. Unlike the other chapter presidents, she’s never truly been a natural-born leader. Shy to a fault, she’s long struggled to express herself assertively for fear of disturbing the status quo. This all changed when she decided to establish a CBNA chapter at McGill University. CBNA national has allowed Bryanna to find her advocacy voice and be mentored and coached as a leader.

Bryanna has been steadfast in her resolve to both provide a setting where Black nursing students feel supported and empowered to give back to the Black community. They achieve this by sharing their expertise as nursing students and through their own lived experiences.
Together with her team of executives, CBNA-McGill has been able to establish a partnership with a local Haitian-led community center in order to hold a series of workshops on maternal and child health through a culturally competent lens. And this is only the beginning of a beautiful health promotion partnership.
She is grateful for how CBNA-McGill has forced her out of her comfort zone by pushing her to be assertive in her conviction to elevate Black voices in both community and healthcare settings. Bryanna is confident that the work that CBNA is doing across the nation will impact decolonizing nursing and healthcare.

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About the academic chapter CBNA-York University

CBNA-York University (CBNA-YorkU) is a chapter created by Black nursing students. Given the great diversity at York University, the lack of representation in faculty and leadership positions is quite evident.  This prompted discussions with CBNA National on creating a space and environment which allows Black nursing students to feel motivated, empowered and supported. The whole prospect of this academic chapter is to enable Black excellence and address this prevailing issue.

About the CBNA-YorkU president

James Ehiagwina is currently in his second year at York University, where he’s pursuing a degree in Nursing. Known for his compassionate nature and a deep commitment to community and advocacy, James holds the role of president within the Canadian Black Nurses Alliance – York University Chapter.

Guiding a dedicated team of 20 members, he passionately advocates for the support and community-building essential for black nursing students. His devotion extends beyond the campus borders as James maintains a profound connection to his community, placing a particular emphasis on the mental health and well-being of individuals, especially within the black community. I

Amid his academic journey, James enjoys moments of leisure, engaging in activities like playing frisbee, sharing quality time with friends, and immersing himself in captivating films. Furthermore, in his role as a student success peer mentor with Black Excellence at York University, James exemplifies his unwavering commitment to supporting and uplifting his peers.

His goal is to be a kind and supportive leader, ensuring a welcoming and friendly place for all black nursing students at York University.

 

About the academic chapter CBNA-Western University

The Canadian Black Nurses Alliance Western Chapter is devoted to bringing awareness to racial inequality in healthcare, providing resources to Black nurses that will help them to overcome such inequality, and creating a supportive community in which undergraduate and graduate Black nurses can mentally, academically, and socially thrive. We value the empowerment and confidence instilled in Black students when they know they have a community cheering them on.

Our chapter is determined to provide social, financial, and academic support tuned to the Black experience as we collaborate with other CBNA Chapters and Black clubs at Western to reach as many Black nurses and students as possible. We aspire to establish pillars of appreciated vulnerability, social justice, emotional validation, and academic and career success within our Black community. We are incredibly grateful that CBNA has provided the opportunity to do so.

About the CBNA-Western president

Paula Ginikachi Umeh is in her 3rd year in the collaborative BScN Program at Western University. She succeeds Gail Lywood, an aspiring graduating nursing student who established the academic chapter in 2022 and left large shoes to fill. Paula is grateful to be a part of an inspiring organization and is determined to help fulfill the mission of CBNA: “to serve, mentor, and empower Black Canadian Nurses through the power of community”. She is confident that she can support this mission by exercising the leadership and collaboration skills that she acquired throughout her 4 years of experience in social justice and support for Black students as an executive (3 years) and general member (1 year) of her high school’s Black history month team.

She was recognized for her efforts by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and the Ontario Heritage Trust when she was awarded a Youth Achievement Award at the 2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards, then featured in an article on Toronto.com.

Wanting to become more involved in advocacy, community building, and leadership, she ran for and won grade 11 and 12 representatives on her high school’s student council and then year 1 and 2 representative on the Western Fanshawe Nursing Student Association at Western University on which she is also co-VP Events for her 3rd year.

When she is not participating in student politics, she has a passion for charity which encouraged her to start an unofficial non-profit organization called UntitledBlessings (@untitledblessings on Instagram). She wishes to be a part of a non-profit organization after her undergraduate studies and use her Nursing degree to help people around the world, especially in her home country Nigeria.

Coming from Nigeria, Paula had no concept of racism until she got to Canada. After witnessing her colleagues experience discrimination from patients and other colleagues in healthcare, Paula understands the negative effects that racism within healthcare can have on black nurses. She demands change and is determined to make it. Paula is excited to work with her team members to build a strong community at Western that will benefit future, past, and present black nurses, give them a safe space to express their valid feelings and opinions and instill hope that racial inequality in Canadian healthcare can be overcome.

We all bleed the same colour and health care is an environment in which this is even more apparent. It is time people start acting like it.

About the academic chapter CBNA-Trent

Along with the CBNA national, CBNA-Trent promotes the welfare and interests of Black nursing students at Trent University through the provision of support, activities, publications, social forums and events. It additionally acts as a bridge between students and faculty; providing insights into cultural competency that can be applied in the classroom and clinical settings. At its core, it serves as a safe space for Black nursing students to come together and discuss their difficulties, successes, and experiences, both in and out of the classroom. CBNA-Trent events often center around much-needed mentorship from Black nursing professionals and increasing awareness of issues faced by Black nurses & nursing students. Through executive and committee roles, CBNA-Trent members may partake in invaluable, real-world opportunities to practice leadership skills that allow them to gain confidence and expertise.

 

About the CBNA-Trent president

Ifeatu Harris-Eze is the President and a co-founder of CBNA-Trent. She offers a unique perspective with her background in communications that motivates her passion for collaboration and knowledge of I/O Psychology that guides her personnel management. Likewise, her 12+ years of experience in graphic design have inspired her contributions to CBNA National, such as the creation of CBNA’s updated logo system and Black History month logo rendition. With an arsenal of experience from her previous roles at non-profit organizations, including Pro Bono Law Alberta, Equal Voice Calgary, Miss Black History Month Alberta, the African Caribbean Student Association of the University of Calgary, and the Nigerian Canadian Association of Calgary – to name a few; she is more than confident in her ability to lead Trent University’s first and only association for Black Nursing students.

Upon acceptance into the Compressed Nursing Stream at Trent University, she immediately took notice of the lack of Black representation in her program. In a chat containing the majority of students in her cohort, the number of Black students could be counted on one hand. Upon further exploration, she found there to be no association dedicated to providing a support network for Black nursing students. Discussions with her peers revealed that the need was present. One thing became evident: CBNA national and CBNA-Trent was the most befitting remedy to solve this problem.

As a leader, Ifeatu firmly believes that the impact of Black nursing student associations cannot be overstated. From promoting cultural competence to providing a support network, she is dedicated to ensuring that CBNA-Trent achieves its mandate of equipping Black nursing students with resources that promote a successful academic journey and a career of fulfillment.

Images from the CBNA-Mac  

Images from the CBNA-UAB 

Images from the CBNA-UDEM 

Images from the CBNA-McGill 

Images from the CBNA-YorkU 

Additional information

To find out more about CBNA-McMaster and CBNA-UAB please follow them on Instagram and/or Linkedln

Canadian Black Nurses Alliance
Canadian Black Nurses Alliance