Who We Are
The Colorado Council of Black Nurses, Inc. (CCBN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, philanthropic organization that has been a staple in the Colorado health community for over 45 years. Comprised of a multi-generational network of leaders, pioneers, visionaries and students in the profession of nursing and nurse pathway careers, CCBN addresses health equity from a cultural perspective with a focus on improving the health status of ALL people.
Culturally competent and equitable healthcare locally, nationally, and globally.
The mission of the Colorado Council Black Nurses, Inc. is to improve the health status of all people through empowering under-served communities to be equal contributors in the determination of healthcare standards by increasing the number of Black/African American professional nurses throughout the healthcare continuum, and by increasing college matriculation and successful graduation rates among Black and other underrepresented students in postsecondary education, thereby empowering under-served communities to not only be participants but active contributors to an equitable health care system in local, national and global arenas.
The Colorado Council of Black Nurses, Inc. (CCBN) was founded in May 1973, by a small group of Black nurses who were concerned with the low quality of healthcare provided to ethnic populations within the United States of America and particularly in Colorado. The ingenuity of both our founding and charter members in fulfilling their mission to facilitate better patient care in the Black as well as other ethnic communities through social action, advocacy, and collaborative practices was ahead of its time.
With a focus on health education and patient care needs, our founders accomplished CCBN's objectives by developing action-oriented strategies that included collaboration with community organizations that shared in CCBN's vision to improve better access and care for all regardless of race or socioeconomic status, and to recruit more ethnically diverse nurses into the healthcare industry. Mentoring and providing scholarships to potential nurses enhanced CCBN's mission of promoting culturally competent care.
Since its inception, CCBN has been an integral part of many community health promotion activities and educational programs including but not limited to providing free health screenings and/or workshops on diabetes, cardiac diseases and disorders, sex and HIV/AIDS awareness, as well as on healthcare disparities that affect underrepresented ethnic populations. CCBN was influential in bringing much needed services to underrepresented communities including but not limited to providing free mobile mammograms and prostate screenings, in addition to the formation of community-based organizations such as the Center for African American Health. In 1984, after a little over a decade of dedicated volunteer health promotion services to underserved and underrepresented communities, the Colorado Council Black Nurses Inc. was granted 501(c)3 nonprofit status.
A voice in the global health care arena, CCBN's influence reaches far past the continental United States of America. Our commitment to improvement for ALL people drives our global outreach. CCBN's scholarships are specifically inclusive of African students studying within the United States and CCBN's Scholarship Program is expanding to address the needs of African students. In addition, individual CCBN members have been instrumental in bringing education services to the continent of Africa through parish nursing initiatives in Zimbabwe, starting nursing schools in several African countries including Cameroon, and supporting health clinics in countries including Sierra Leone.
In 2020, CCBN realized our reach around the globe was not far enough and we reached up to the stars. CCBN's Aerospace Nursing department, which recognizes our flight nurses and military nurses, celebrated a successful lift-off and steady trajectory that's been out of this world. In 2021, CCBN launched the CCBN Space Expo so that our youth could see themselves as an integral part of space discovery, using our talent, expertise, and a great community of resources in the health, education, arts and aerospace industries to remove barriers that prevent youth from realizing and sharing their space talents and ingenuity. CCBN remains steadfast in opening doors that elevate the profession of Nursing, including our initiative to get nurses in space, an initiative that has been wholeheartedly embraced by many space and non-space sectors alike. For CCBN, the sky is NOT the limit, it's a destination!
Although the Colorado Council Black Nurses Inc.'s concern has expanded across the globe, our primary focus remains on addressing the health disparity in Colorado communities. Our programs such as the CCBN Health Equity Accord and CCBN New Grad Symposium, as well as collaborations with such health organizations as the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW), Center for African American Health (CAAH), Colorado Black Health Collaborative (CBHC), Denver-Rocky Mountain Association of Black Psychologists (D-RMABPsi), Inner City Health, and the Mental Health Center of Denver, to name a few, in addition to our relationships with Nursing organizations such as Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence (CCNE), Colorado Nurses Association (CNA), Eastern Colorado Council Black Nurses Inc. (ECCBN), National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), Philippine Nurses Association of Colorado (PNACO), and The Nursing Collaborative allows us to share our knowledge, resources, and advancements across cultural divides and throughout the state of Colorado. Functional relationships with Nursing education institutions such as the Community College of Aurora (CCA), Community College of Denver (CCD), Metropolitan State University (MSU), and the University of Colorado Anschutz College of Nursing (CUCON) allows CCBN to make great strides toward fulfilling its mission regarding the matriculation and graduation of underrepresented Nursing students. Championing health equity and cultural competency at home in Colorado is what provides the fuel that exacts change in national and global health.
CCBN Advisory Board
Comprised of community leaders, healthcare professionals, and other citizens who are committed to addressing healthcare disparities within the community, CCBN's Advisory Board donate their time, talent and expertise to provide guidance in the fulfillment of CCBN's mission and completion of goals. They are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Zach Lynkiewicz, Interim Chairman
Jennifer Vander Meer
It is paramount that the officers and department leaders of the Colorado Council Black Nurses Inc. reflect the continuum of the nursing profession, from essential pre-nursing pathways to the upper echelons of the nursing profession. All sectors of nursing are valued and the gravity brought from their particular area of nursing brings balance and relevancy to our organization. Our display of their education journeys are purposeful and intentional, and it is our hope that it serves as an inspiration for those pursuing the nursing profession to be steadfast in reaching their nursing goals.
President: Robin Bruce FN, BSN, RN
Vice President: Velvia Garner MSN, BSN, RN
Treasurer: Dorothy Reid BSN, RN
Interim Secretary: Beverly Wasserman BSN, DN, RN
Recording Secretary: Dayriana Sanders ADN, CNA, SN
Financial Secretary: Danyelle Gilbert BSN, AS, CNA, GN
Historian: Arabela Celestine NA, EMT
Chaplain: Emma Jackson FCN, SNP, MA, MS, BSN, RN
Divisions and Departments:
Profession Advancement Division
Membership Program - Point of Information: Margie Cook PhD, MpH, FNP, BSN, RN
Professional Development - Point of Information: Lynn Hoskins BSN, RN
Aerospace Nursing - Interim Point of Information: Gabriel Toepel SN
Academic Advancement Division
Curriculum Management - Point of Information: Omarah Macias BSN, RN
Scholarship Program - Point of Information: Scholarship Program Chairman Kelci Boyard BSN, BS, RN
Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative Grant (COSI) - Point of Information: Robin Bruce FN, BSN, RN
Academic Investment- Point of Information: Robin Bruce FN, BSN, RN
Community Advancement Division
Community Outreach - Point of Information: Elerie Archer MBA, BSN, RN
International Relations - Point of Information: Janitta Lumu RN
Social Action and Legislation - Point of Information: Laura Howard, CMSRN, BSN, RN
Publicity and Social Media - Point of Information: Janaye Culton CNA, MA, QMAP, NS