Carter Todd

Building allies

As the founder of the Capitol City Black Nurses Association, Carter seeks to bring more Black nurses into both the health system and in to roles where they could advocate for change.

portrait of Carter Todd, nurse at UC Davis Health


It's a real phenomenon, feeling like an Other anywhere is very uncomfortable, no matter where you're at. So feeling like an other in a healthcare setting, you're not going to get the same quality of care that you might feel if you did feel a part of the team, if you were being able to advocate for yourself at a high level. So, the Black community deserves to have more allies on their team in the healthcare field.

I started Capitol City Black Nurses Association because, when I came out of school, I felt like I needed a little bit more support than I had. And I looked around, I didn't see anyone else who necessarily looked like me, talked like me or was going through my same experience. I was fortunate enough to get contacted by National Black Nurses when I showed some interest, and they believed in me and what I wanted to do here in Sacramento.

I feel like being in the state capitol of the best state in the United States, especially for nursing, when you look at the demographics of who we are here in California, we have almost 500000 RNs. So, it's important that there's advocacy taking place right up the street, that we're connected to all the policies and regulations that are coming down. So, I felt like it was a good opportunity for the Black nurses to have a seat at the table, and that we were growing each other's own professional development skills, that we were providing a network of connections, and then also helping out the community at large, outside of just nursing. So, here in the Oak Park community, South Sacramento, Elk Grove, we try to get our branches everywhere.

We have around 40 members. We've accumulated some really great leaders and some good talent on our team, and we hope to just keep growing. We've had a lot of good success here in Sacramento, bringing in national resources, being connected to a brainer network outside of just California, especially right now during COVID-19. It's been important to make sure that we're getting up to date information. We see how it's impacting the African American community. We're tapping into our chapter out in New York. We actually sent some support out there for them, for the frontline workers, just trying to be in solidarity with them and know that we see them.