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Historical Nursing Documents Archived by City of Toronto

This update has been provided by Adeline Falk-Rafael to follow-up on the ANS article titled “Towards Justice in Health.”An Exemplar of Speaking Truth to Power.

Our article “Towards Justice in Health: An exemplar of speaking truth to power” is an analysis of 6 issues of the magazine (TJH) produced by Nurses for Social Responsibility (NSR) in Toronto, Canada, between 1992 and 1995. The article reported that the request of the magazine’s editors for archival of the magazine in the Library and Archives Canada had been denied.

A few days ago, Cathy Crowe, one of the magazine’s editors, notified us that the City of Toronto Archives has accepted both the 6 issues of the magazine and the NSR’s newsletters which predated the magazine and were alluded to in the article but were not part of the analysis. As Cathy Crowe noted, they will now be available “to aid and inspire future nurse and academic researchers on nursing and social justice.”

The vision and courage of these remarkable nurses for social responsibility is evident in some of the topics they wrote about and in which they actively sought change between 1985 and 1995. Their newsletter s and, in the later years, their magazine, covered many contentious issues that impacted health, including the environment, the sale of arms and war itself, women’s reproductive rights, health care policy, trade agreements, lesbian nurses, and needle-exchange programs, as well as issues that affected nurses in the workplace, such as working conditions and staffing mix. As we said in the article, they were exemplars in speaking truth to power and it is fortunate that the newsletters and magazines will now be available for aspiring historians and activists.

The images below of the newsletter and the magazine provide examples of the amazing topics that were addressed in this publication! Their placement in the City of Toronto archives provides a valuable resource and inspiration for nursing’s continuing social justice commitment.  For more information about Dr. Falk-Rafael’s and Dr. Bradley’s analysis of these important historical publications, see their blog message published here in August 2014.



3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hello, a clarification is that although the materials are going to the City of Toronto Archives they’re not there yet. I’m delivering them this week. The collection will include the Nurses for Social Responsibility (NSR) newsletters and Towards Justice in Health magazine, however that is only a small component. My entire NSR collection is going which includes photographs, minutes of Steering Committee meetings, all the unique flyers for our events, media releases, NSR description flyers, media coverage, deputations, advocacy correspondence to people ranging from the Prime Minister to Premiers to nursing leaders and more! In addition, materials include original hand-painted t-shirts that the group sold to help publish, original Nightingale bookmarks the group made for marketing, the peace dove letterhead, etc. The materials will be a strong addition to archives I have already donated which include: Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC), Toronto Coalition Against Homelessness (TCAH), the Tuberculosis Action Group (TBAG), the Coalition Against Police Violence (CAPV), the Recession Relief Coalition, and the Street Nurses Network (SNN) – all groups which included nurses.

    Many thanks for helping to promote this body of nursing activism.

    May 13, 2015
    • Thank YOU, Cathy, for this important information! This is very important information and a valuable resource for nurses concerned with social justice! Thank you again!

      May 13, 2015
  2. Dorothea Fox Jakob #

    I feel relieved and grateful for all of Cathy’s efforts. One of the documents was very difficult for me to write. Now, it is as important as when it was written. Writing it brought on much emotional turmoil. We are now in a time in Canada similar to that of when I left the U.S. It’s strange that today is “Armed Forces Day” Day in the U.S. I never heard of that ‘holiday’. NSR visions of Peace and Justice and Equity are more important today than ever.

    May 16, 2015

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