CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 11

1 11 1

G R A D U AT I O N

&

C O N V O C AT I O N 2 0 2 0

E'Jaaz Abdulkabir enjoying
the scenic outdoors

Color Blind
FIGHTING FOR DIVERSITY WHILE
CHANGING THE FACE OF MIDWIFERY
FROM WITHIN By Dana Brandorff

B

orn in Georgia, E'Jaaz Abdulkabir
moved to the Virgin Islands at
the age of 9. " Living in St. Croix
was like living in a small town
- surrounded by water, " said
Abdulkabir. Her father was a physician. In
fact, he was the attending physician during
her birth and delivered her at home. For
Abdulkabir, nursing was familiar and comfortable; and home births normal. After
earning her Associate's degree in nursing
from the University of Virgin Islands, she
worked in the post-partum unit at the local
hospital. " I had a very different introduction
to nursing than a lot of my colleagues. For
the first five years of my career, the nurses
I worked with were predominantly Black. It
wasn't 'til I moved back to Georgia that I
realized how different that was. "

AN AWAKENING
Abdulkabir is an anomaly. With only 6% of U.S.
nurses identifying as Black, the profession is
a very white place. " The hospital I worked at
in Georgia had the highest birth rate in the
country. The community's ethnicity was not
reflected. Nurses were white and the technicians, and secretaries Black. " There was a
distinct separation between races and jobs.
" I felt the community we were serving didn't
trust healthcare at all. That was a strange
feeling. I had never experienced that before. "

In 2016, Abdulkabir did a stint as a traveling
nurse, and her first assignment brought her to
Denver Health where she discovered Colorado.
" I got a taste of serving the underserved. It was
my favorite job ever. " Her next assignment
took her to Walnut Creek, California, a very
affluent area of the country, where she took
care of women who were first-time pregnant
mothers. She then got married, and the couple
moved to Louisiana where she went back to
school to get her Bachelor's degree. " I caught
the school bug and got my master's in nursing
education, " she said.

BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION
While working in women's health, Labor &
Delivery, and getting exposure to midwifery,
she learned the shocking truth of maternal
mortality rates in the U.S., and it appalled
her. " Black women are nearly four times more
likely to die than white women. I asked myself,
'What could I do?' " According to the Maternal
Health Task Force, despite spending more
than any other country on hospital-based maternity care, the U.S. fares worse in preventing
pregnancy-related deaths than most other
developed nations. Abdulkabir knew that
midwifery showed great outcomes for many
low-risk patients, regardless of ethnicity. She
decided to become a midwife to change the
face of the profession - literally. " I think I can
be part of the solution, " said Abdulkabir, who
remembered Colorado fondly, and chose CU's
post-graduate nurse-midwifery certificate
program.
The transition was not as smooth as she
would have liked. Colorado - located in
the middle of the country - is not very
diverse. Initially feeling like an outsider,
Abdulkabir second-guessed her decision
to attend CU. " Because no one looked like
me, I questioned what I was doing here. "
After her initial trepidation, she discovered
that " the people who come here are more
liberal-leaning. I feel way more accepted
here and have found a home. "

P O S T- G R A D U AT E
C E R T I F I C AT E
C A N D I D AT E S
AUGUST 2020

VETERAN'S MILITARY
HEALTH CARE
Pam Kennedy

DECEMBER 2020

NURSE MIDWIFERY
Ejaaz Abdulkabir
Taylor Leininger
Amy Liss

PEDIATRIC ACUTE CARE
NURSE PRACTITIONER
Lauren Doty
Katherine Holmes
Teresa Kawalski
Caitlin McCarthy
Jennifer Rafter
Lauren Reed
Tessa Rose

PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH
NURSE PRACTITIONER
Jacqueline Carbone
Brenda Kulju
Erin Marsico



CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020

CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - Cover1
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 2
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 3
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 4
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 5
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 6
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 7
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 8
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 9
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 10
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 11
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 12
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 13
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 14
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 15
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_commencement1220
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_fallwinter20
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_commencementspring20
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_springsummer20
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_wintergraduation19
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_fallwinter19
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_graduation19
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_springsummer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_graduation18
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_fallwinter18
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com