Our Leadership Team
Black lives have faced many challenges that have rendered our voices silent.
We have been excluded from the tables of decision-making about the things that impact our lives. We have been put on the sidelines and overlooked. Empirical evidence speaks of our discrimination in all spheres of life over the ages and still, no significant change is seen. In 2020, an increase in brutality against Black lives in the US ignited an uprise of response across the world. Amidst this upheaval, Canadians were confronted with the ever existing reality that Black lives were experiencing deep and prevailing racism in all sectors of society.
A call to action required that a group of nurses needed to take a stand for the unheard voices of Black Nurses in Canada. Within the healthcare sector, Black Nurses historically have been discriminated against, devalued, passed over, not given credit for their contributions in nursing history and underrepresented at leadership tables. With a feeling that the unique needs of Black nurses were not being met in July 2020, Ovie Onagbeboma birthed the vision of the Canadian Black Nurses Alliance (CBNA) and aligned with five nursing leaders to begin the process of organizing Black Nurses across Canada. The first national organization for Black Nurses in Canada CBNA was born from the overwhelming and long-standing need for the voices of Black nurses to be heard.
CBNA established its first affiliate in the form of an academic club at McMaster University in August 2020. The club caters to McMaster University Black nursing undergraduate students under the leadership of Ezwina Egoi and Abena Owusu.
Federally Incorporated in September of 2020, the Canadian Black Nurses Alliance (CBNA) is a non-profit organization that serves to advance Canadian Black Nurses through empowerment, mentorship, and advocacy.
The founding leaders of CBNA are Ovie Onagbeboma, Ava Onwudegwu and Karen Pingal. Additional foundational contribution credit is given to Nadine Smith, Sarah Musabimana and Shaunattonie Henry .
Although a membership organization, the CBNA’s programs and activities are for the benefit of Black Nurses, nursing students, licensed/practical registered nurses, and retired nurses in Canada. We operate as a platform for Canadian Black Nurses. The leaders of the Canadian Black Nurses Alliance recognized that in order to make a difference in the experience and outcome of Canadian Black Nurses, that Black Nurses had to take the lead.
We are financed by member subscriptions, donations, and fundraising activities.