Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing will be changed if it is not faced.

James Baldwin

We celebrate partnerships.

Whether they are with our natural colleagues in medicine, or across disciplines, like engineering, education, architecture, and public health, we show up, reach out, and gather scholars and practitioners into our fold with enthusiasm. Often, while these relationships are borne out of necessity—many grants require interdisciplinary partners—they also expand our vision as we solve some of the world’s thorniest problems. That’s powerful.

In this issue, we highlight stories of nurse scientists advancing knowledge through sometimes unlikely DKF-headshot-2018 alliances, uncovering wisdom, and fostering team science. And while these partnerships are, at their core, about scholarship, they’re also about friendship, too. Friendship and wisdom help us understand that we need to face things. As Baldwin notes, facing things is the only way to harness change.

We bridge our knowledge gaps by asking key questions. Given the recent one-year anniversary of a white nationalist rally in my Charlottesville hometown, my questions remain: How do we face a racist society? What can we do as a nursing school and as individuals to dismantle racism? And how will be prepare nurses to do the same, no matter where they work and learn?

"We must become the nation's most racially literate school of nursing, fulfilling in my last year as dean a core part of this School's mission and vision - perhaps the most critical and vexing issue of our time."

Dorrie K. Fontaine, dean

This October, School of Nursing leaders joined with a wide variety of UVA peers for an eight-week intensive. With guidance from Professor Shaun Harper’s Race and Equity Institute at the University of Southern California, my colleagues Susan Kools and John Gates created a bold proposal to train leaders in higher education to “stop graduating racists.” As the only nursing school in the nation invited to this pioneering effort, we plan to engage deeply to close this gap, and, we hope, be a model for others.

When UVA President Jim Ryan invited the community to share its aspirations for UVA, my response was crystal clear: become the nation’s most racially literate school of nursing, fulfilling in my last year as dean a core part of this School’s mission and vision—perhaps the most critical, and vexing issue of our time.

As President Ryan says, the future is ours to shape. Let’s do it together.

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