Print Page   |   Register
Social Justice Committee

Social Justice Committee

The International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN) has identified social justice as one of the six pillars reflecting the core values of the organization. In early 2019, recognizing that the very nature of forensic nursing is grounded in social justice and that the IAFN is uniquely situated to promote social justice advocacy, IAFN developed and implemented an action plan to further solidify the objectives and strategies associated with the social justice pillar.

The committee seeks to:

  • Develop a social justice advocacy framework for forensic nurses
  • Review existing literature of social justice theory in nursing
  • Discuss organizational strengths, challenges, and gaps associated with IAFN’s evolution towards incorporation of a social justice advocacy framework/model.


IAFN's Commitment



The IAFN has committed to:


“Examine and identify gaps in both our understanding and our response to race-related violence toward our patients, within our profession, and with and amongst our community partners”


IAFN's Social Justice Committee developed this page as one of the first steps of this process. Its purpose is to start conversation, empower with education, and provide up-to-date resources pertaining to Social Justice.




Words Matter




Social justice is the concept of ensuring that the inherent rights of all people are respected, regardless of characteristics or vulnerabilities. In contrast, social injustices and inequities occur based on specific characteristics or vulnerabilities. These may include, but are not limited to, a person's race, ethnicity, economic status, citizenship, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, spirituality, disability, health status, and historical and structural oppressions — as well as the inequitable impacts of climate change and efforts that prohibit one from achieving their rightful status in society.  Read more here.


IAFN's Statement and Commitment on Police Brutality/Racism 

IAFN's Police Brutality Information and Resources



Words Matter - there are many words currently being used both in social media and within other environments. It is important that we understand the meaning of these words and phrases. Click here to access a term glossary from the Racial Equity Tools website.


Lay Definitions of Terms used in the IAFN Statement and Commitment:

  • Black Communities: Individuals with increased melanin levels in their skin from different backgrounds. Skin can appear various shades of brown or black in color. Black is an appropriate term, as not all people identify as African American or are of African descent. Persons may identify as belonging to “black communities.”

  • Police Brutality: As defined as police-violence, “Intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation” (Obasogie & Newman, 2017).
    • Obasogie, O. & Newman, Z. Police violence, use of force policies, and public health. American Journal of Law & Medicine (2017): 279-295. DOI: 10.1177/0098858817723665
  • White privilege: This does not mean all white people have been privileged throughout their life and have been without challenge. It means that because of the color of their white skin, there are certain challenges they don’t experience, that exist for a person with black or brown skin.
    • This is does not have to be a negative thing, but its existence needs to be acknowledged. Once accomplished, that informs how we all move forward together.
    • Here is an example and explanation of white privilege in the negative: Op-Ed: Amy Cooper and the Power of White Supremacy | NowThis
    • Another negative example would be a white person choosing not to say anything after hearing a racist comment.
    • Here is an example of white privilege in the positive: In this picture taken during a protest, a white person wears a shirt that states “stand behind me if they start shooting”. This person knows that as a white person they are less likely to be shot than a black person during protests.
    • Another positive example would be: Posing the questions, “How can I help? What can I do?”, when hearing racist comments or seeing racist scenarios



Forensic Nurse Social Justice Resources










News Publications and Editorials:




  • Anderson, M. & Bailey, M. (2007). Have Nurses Turned a Blind Eye? American Journal of Nursing, 107(12) 11.

  • Befus, D. R., Kumodzi, T., Schminkey, D., & St. Ivany, A. (2019). Advancing Health Equity and Social Justice in Forensic Nursing Research, Education, Practice, and Policy: Introducing Structural Violence and Trauma- and Violence-Informed Care. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 15(4), 199–205

  • Blanchet Garneau, A., Browne, A. J., & Varcoe, C. (2018). Drawing on antiracist approaches toward a critical antidiscriminatory pedagogy for nursing. Nursing Inquiry, 25(1), 1.

  • Brown, D., Thurman, W., & Pfitzinger-Lippe, M. (2017). Returning to the Profession’s Roots: Social Justice in Nursing Education for the 21st Century. Advances in Nursing Science, 40(4), 316–318.

  • Bruce, A., Rietz, L., & Lim, A. (2014). Understanding philosophy in a nurse’s world: What, where and why? Nursing and Health, 2(3), 65-71.

  • Bruce, J. C. (2018). Nursing in the 21st century—Challenging its values and roles. Professional Nursing Today, 22(1), 44-48.

  • Buettner-Schmidt, K., & Lobo, M. L. (2012). Social justice: A concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68, 948-958.

  • Caldwell, R., & Cochran, C. (2018). Infusing Social Justice in Undergraduate Nursing Education: Fostering Praxis Through Simulation. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 14(2), 88–97

  • Colbert, A. M., & Donley, S. R. (2018). Social Justice and Forensic Nursing. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 14(2), 51–52.

  • Curtin, L. (2018). Why some people are healthy, and others are not. American Nurse Today, 13(2), 52

  • Ekroos, R. A., & Shannon, S. E. (2019). Forensic Medical Examinations: Imagining Justice. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 15(2), 71–77.

  • Fawcett, J. (2019). Thoughts About Social Justice. Nursing Science Quarterly, 32(3), 250–253.

  • Gorman, G., Singer, R. M., Christmas, E., Herbstritt, C., Miller, L., Murphy, M., … Wyss, K. (2018). In a Spirit of Restoration: A Phenomenology of Nursing Practice and the Criminal Justice System. Advances in Nursing Science, 41(2), 105–117

  • Goshin, L. S., Colbert, A. M., & Carey, J. F. (2018). An Integrative Review of Nurse-Authored Research to Improve Health Equity and Human Rights for Criminal-Justice-Involved People. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 14(2), 53–60.

  • Hall JM, Carlson K. (2016). Marginalization: A Revisitation With Integration of Scholarship on Globalization, Intersectionality, Privilege, Microaggressions, and Implicit Biases. Advances in Nursing Science, 39(3):200-215

    LeBlanc, R. G. (2017). Digital story telling in social justice nursing education. Public Health Nursing, 34(4), 395–400.

  • Mason, S. J. (2018). Forced Separation of Children from Parents: Another Consideration, Journal of American Medical Association, 320(10), 963-964

  • Matwick,A. L., & Woodgate, R. L. (2017). Social justice: A concept analysis. Public Health Nursing, 34, 176-184.

  • McGibbon, E., Mulaudzi, F. M., Didham, P., Barton, S., & Sochan, A. (2014). Toward   decolonizing nursing: the colonization of nursing and strategies for increasing the counter-narrative. Nursing Inquiry, 21(3), 179–191

  • Narayan MC. CE: Addressing Implicit Bias in Nursing: A Review. American Journal of Nursing. 2019;119(7):36-43

  • Olshansky, E., Taylor, D., Johnson-Mallard, V., Halloway, S., & Stokes, L. (2018). Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Access & Justice: Where Nursing Stands. Nursing Outlook, 66(4), 416–422.

  • Payne, A. (2018). Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Forensic Examinations for Immigrant Victims: A Case Study. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 14(2), 112–116

  • Perry, D. J., Willis, D. G., Peterson, K. S., & Grace, P. J. (2017). Exercising nursing essential and effective freedom in behalf of social justice: A humanizing model. Advances in Nursing      Science, 40, 244-262.

  • Roberts, L., Tamene, M., & Orta, O. R. (2018). The Intersectionality of Racial and Gender Discrimination Among Teens Exposed to Dating Violence. Ethnicity & Disease, 28(1) 253-260

  • Russell, G. E., & Fawcett, J. (2005). The conceptual model for nursing and health policy revisited. Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 6, 319-326

  • Shafique, S., Bhattacharyya, D. S., Anwar, I., & Adams, A. (2018). Right to health and social justice in Bangladesh: Ethical dilemmas and obligations of state and non-state actors to ensure health for urban poor. BMC Medical Ethics, 19 (Suppl. 1), 61-69.

  • Schim, S. M., Benkert, R., Bell, S. E., Walker, D. S., & Danford, C. A. (2007). Social justice: Added metaparadigm concept for urban health nursing. Public Health Nursing, 24, 73-80.

  • Singsuriya, P. (2016). Ethics of caring conversation and dialectic of love and justice. Nursing Ethics, 25, 436-443.

  • Vliem, S. (2015). Nursing Students’ Attitudes Toward Poverty. Nurse Educator, 40(6), 308–312.

  • Walter, R. R. (2017). Emancipatory Nursing Praxis: A Theory of Social Justice in Nursing. Advances in Nursing Science, 40(3), 225–243.

  • Williams DL. (2009). Distributive justice in a bad economy: some thoughts on ethics of care. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 5(3), 183–184



Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal