Celebrating NYSNA and Our Communities

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans Leads New York City Labor Day Parade

NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN, was honored to be the grand marshal of this year’s New York City Central Labor Council Labor Day Parade, which brings together union members from every sector of New York City’s labor movement. The theme of this year’s parade was “we organize, we rise,” and the spirit of optimism and solidarity was strong throughout the day.

Tens of thousands of union members marched down Fifth Avenue, with striking workers making their voices heard at the front of the parade. Pres. Hagans led the way proudly carrying a “NYC is a Union Town” sign, alongside Parade Chair and Amalgamated Transit Union Vice President Mark Henry, New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento and New York City Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez, and New York’s ranking elected officials. 

NYSNA members were joined by dozens of our National Nurses United siblings, who traveled from far and wide to join the celebration. The NYSNA and NNU parade contingent was big and bold, and they kept the party going after the parade at a celebratory reception and luncheon nearby. NYSNA leaders Pres. Hagans, Sonia Lawrence, RN, BSN, and Michelle Jones, RN, NP, spoke about NYSNA’s incredible year of victories for public- and private-sector nurses. Elected officials, including Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Borough Presidents Vanessa Gibson, Antonio Reynoso, and Donovan Richards, and several New York City council members also spoke from the heart and congratulated NYSNA. 

NYSNA Celebrates Its Diversity

This summer, NYSNA participated in multiple parades celebrating the cultures of its diverse membership and patients. 

On Labor Day, dozens of NYSNA members marched in the NYC Carnival, the largest celebration of West Indian heritage and culture in North America! Dozens of NYSNA nurses danced along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, spreading the message that we are proud to care for all of New York’s diverse communities and continue the fight for quality care for all! 

Nurses marched up Fifth Avenue for the National Puerto Rican Day parade to celebrate the rich history and culture of Puerto Rico. 

The cultural celebrations continue as Capital Region nurses and families participated in the Filipino Day Parade in Albany! Nurses celebrated Filipino independence and being part of a long tradition of fighting for their rights. Nurse Jen Cotanda, RN, highlighted the fight to unionize Albany Medical Center for safer patient care and better working conditions: “It was not only through learning my own history, but also through fighting through my union that I learned the importance and the power of coming together as a community and fighting for our rights!”

Earlier in August, NYSNA nurses also participated in the Dominican Day Parade in NYC. Together we celebrated Dominican culture and heritage in New York City with marching, music and dancing to showcase Dominican pride!

Erie County Medical Center NYSNA nurses had a wonderful time celebrating Black joy and Black history at the Juneteenth Festival in Buffalo! Buffalo was one of the first cities to host a festival and parade commemorating the day the last enslaved African American people learned they were free following the Emancipation Proclamation.

NYSNA nurses and staff were out at the New York City Pride Parade, celebrating the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the birthplace of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. It was the world’s largest annual Pride march. With recent attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights and gender-affirming care, it’s more important than ever to show up in solidarity and pride for LGBTQIA+ nurses and patients.

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