Black Nurses Association Votes To Move 2024 Conference From ‘Anti-Black’ Florida

Black Nurses Association Votes To Move 2024 Conference From ‘Anti-Black’ Florida

An astounding 84% of NBNA survey respondents agreed on moving the conference to a different state.

Following a majority vote, the National Black Nurses Association is moving its annual national conference from Florida to California, KTVU reports, after members expressed concern for their safety due to the recent passing of what they consider anti-Black legislation laws in the Sunshine State.

“We had to go with what the majority of the members clearly articulated to us was their concern about us holding our conference in an environment that feels hostile toward us,” Sheldon Fields, president of the National Black Nurses Association told KTVU.

Ahead of its 2024 conference, the organization conducted a survey to uncover members’ attitudes and feelings about the event’s host location. An astounding 84% of respondents agreed on moving the conference to a different state.

“We really could not take the risk of anybody being hurt,” Fields said.

The 52nd Institute and Conference was originally scheduled to be held at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, from July 24–28, 2024. Now San Francisco will play host from July 23–28, 2024. Though the cancellation comes with a hefty cost of nearly half a million dollars, as reported by The San Francisco Standard, the organization value the lives of their members more.

Since 1971, NBNA has striven to “serve as the voice for black nurses and diverse populations ensuring equal access to professional development, promoting educational opportunities and improving health,” as stated in a release. The organization represents 450,000 black registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, nursing students and retired nurses from the USA, Eastern Caribbean, and Africa, through 112 chartered chapters, in 34 states and the District of Columbia. 

The hostility that drove the NBNA conference away is a result of many actions, including Governor Ron DeSantis’ deliberate attempt to erase African American history and DEI initiatives in schools. Last year, the controversial Republican politician signed the “Stop WOKE Act,” putting restrictions on how race and gender are discussed in classrooms, BLACK ENTERPRISE previously covered.

In May, the NAACP issued a travel advisory ban to warn African Americans that the “state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”

Furthermore, NBNA members also spoke up about the racially-motivated shooting in Jacksonville at a Dollar General in August that left three Black people dead. The gunman was in possession of racist manifestos that described his hatred for Black people, and the killings are under investigation as a hate crime. The families of the shooting victims recently filed a lawsuit against the store’s owner as well as the operator and security contractor for negligence.

“The passage of anti-Black policies and laws, which have taken a destructive position to erase and silence Black history, and restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools, together with the NAACP travel ban, and the recent senseless, racially motivated, hate-fueled murders of three innocent Black Americans in Jacksonville, Florida, has created a hostile dangerous environment in the state,” the NBNA wrote in its decision announcement.

San Francisco is happy to host the NBNA.

“As we do with every conference, we will work with our hospitality partners to welcome the attendees and ensure resources are in place to make the event safe, welcoming, and vibrant,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office said, according to KTVU.

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