Mapping Care Project: The History of Black Nurses in Chicago

Editorial Team

Gwyneth R. Franck PhD, RN, MPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing. She is also the Director of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center (MNHRC) and an Associate Director of the Global Health Leadership Office (GHLO) both located within UIC's College of Nursing. Her past historical research investigates the role and significance of military nurses during World Wars I and II, how they were trained, and how they responded to disasters such as the 1918 flu pandemic, or the bombing during Pearl Harbor. As the Director of the MNHRC, she works to provide relevant programming through a nursing history book club and presentations by renowned nurse historians. Additionally, she is committed to expanding and protecting the historical collections within the MNHRC, engaging, and elevating underrepresented narratives within nursing history.

Jojo Galvan Mora is the Curator/Archivist for the Midwest Nursing History Research Center (MNHRC). He holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is working towards a PhD in American History from Northwestern University. His background focus is on equity-focused collections development, monuments, and sites of memory. His current work beyond the MNHRC is with the Chicago History Museum working on a groundbreaking exhibit focused on the Latinx population of Chicago and historical research into the complex history of Cicero, Illinois. Outside of history, Jojo enjoys collecting rare books, furniture, and taking visits to the Great Lakes in Michigan.

Karen Flynn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. in Women's Studies from York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her research interests include migration and travel, Black Canada, health, popular culture, feminist, and Diasporic and post-colonial studies. Dr. Flynn's book Moving Beyond Borders: Black Canadian and Caribbean Women in the African Canadian Diaspora published by the University of Toronto Press won the Lavinia L. Dock Award from the American Association of the History of Nursing.

Marcia Walker-McWilliams is a public historian and the Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium where she provides strategic leadership for the consortium's activities and to facilitate the discovery, preservation, and use of Black historical collections in Chicago. Marcia received a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and African American Studies from Northwestern University.

Laurie Lee Moses is the Portal Archivist at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC). Her duties include updating, re-envisioning, and transforming the collections database to offer enhanced discoverability of BMRC member organizations' collections in a user-friendly and sustainable way. She has over a decade of experience in facilitating access to archival materials which are central to the study of African and Diasporic history and culture. Through her work at the BMRC, she continues to investigate new ways of representing and using information including linked data, graph databases, open source software, information modeling, and user experience design. Laurie is a performer/composer and earned her Master of Music in composition from Roosevelt University.

Leora Mincer is a student in the Masters in Teaching History program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A New York City native, she completed a B.A. in world history at the University of Pennsylvania. She moved to Chicago to work as a youth employment specialist at JCFS Chicago and also served as a union steward with SEIU Local 73. She is excited about this opportunity to learn more about the experiences of Black nurses in Chicago and to find ways to engage students and the broader community in this important history.

Stephanie D. Smith is a Ph.D. student in History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She has worked as an academic research assistant for several professors both in UIC's departments of History and Black Studies. She previously worked as a Student Archives Technician and later a Federal Contractor at the National Archives at Chicago. As a novice genealogist, Stephanie hopes this project will inspire new generations to discover Black ancestors that contributed to the field of nursing and will raise awareness of the hidden legacy of Black nurses in Chicago. Stephanie received her Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Dominican University.

Background image: "Nurses training program." Images from the History of Medicine, Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine Digital Collections.

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