Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts Tuskegee Nurses Project Presentation


Graphic by: Haley Blakemore

This quote is from the Tuskegee Army Nurses Project’s website.

As part of West Liberty University’s celebration of Women’s History Month in March, the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted a special program on the Tuskegee Army Nurses project. The Zoom presentation featuring Pia Jordan, director of the Tuskegee Army Nurses Project, took place on March 28 and can now be played back on the DEI channel on Topper Station.

The Tuskegee Army Nurses Project was started by Jordan in 2010 when she and a colleague began researching and conducting interviews on the topic after Jordan began uncovering more information about her mother’s military career as a nurse at the Tuskegee Army Airfield in World War II. The project has grown since its conception and routinely works to share the story of the Tuskegee nurses.

The West Liberty office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion headed by Dr. Monique L. Akassi, organized for Jordan to speak on behalf of the project on a Zoom presentation as part of the university’s efforts to celebrate Women’s History Month in March. The purpose of the project is to bring light to the story and the work done by the nurses who served in the Army Nurse Corps at Tuskegee Army Airfield (TAAF) in Alabama during the Second World War. The Tuskegee Airmen are well known for being among the first to break the army’s color barrier for black pilots in WWII.

According to the project’s website, “The nurses who served on the base had to fight gender as well as racial discrimination… Approximately 28 black nurses served at TAAF. The segregated Army had limited black ANC nurses to around 500 more or less during World War II. That was out of a total 50,000 Army Nurse Corps nurses who served during this war.”

At that time, the Army was highly reluctant to allow any woman to join the Army Nurse Corps. This reluctance was especially high for women of color, making the story of the Tuskegee Army Nurses unique. The incredible work done by the Tuskegee Army Nurses at the TAAF was highlighted during Jordan’s presentation.

More information about the Tuskegee Army Nurses Project can be found on the project’s website and a recording of the event can be found on Topper Station. Keep an eye out for future events organized by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office and for more information contact Akassi by email at [email protected].