About Kyra Philbert

Artist/ Nurse/ Scholar

Queer biracial (Black/White) ciswoman settler living on the unceded lands of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations. 

How to pronounce my name:
K-Ee-Ra
(rhymes with Beer-a; Deer-a; Fear-a)

Experience

Registered Nurse at Vancouver Coastal Health
(2016- ongoing)
Most of Kyra’s nursing experience is based directly in working in home health in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. For the last 6 years, Kyra has directly witnessed how neoliberal ideology in health care stuns our creativity in addressing social determinants of health. Kyra believes upstream interventions at the municipal level might disrupt the structures of inequity in our city.

Board Member at ZeeZee Theatre Company
(2020 – ongoing)
Kyra volunteers as a Board Member for local queer not-for-profit storytelling entity ZeeZee Theatre Company. Their vision, mission and values align with Kyra’s interest in storytelling as community building for social justice.

Vice-President at CACBN
(2020 – ongoing)
Nursing in Canada is very white intentionally. To address the pervasive anti-Black racism within health care, the Coalition of African, Caribbean and Black Nurses in British Columbia was established. Kyra is a co-founder and currently serves as the interim vice-president.

Education

Master of Science in Nursing
(2020- ongoing, UBC Vancouver)
Kyra completed her course work for her MSN, and is currently working on her thesis project ‘Nurse Angélique’. Based on her experiences of occupational racism, Kyra is exploring ‘what makes Blackness so surprising in Canadian nursing?’. Her scholarly work engages with artmaking and history to disturb the moral ideals of a ‘good’, ‘benevolant’ and ‘social just’ Canadian nurse. You can learn more about her project here.

Bachelor of arts in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
(2017 – 2022, UBC Vancouver)
While working as a registered nurse, Kyra returned to the classroom to deepen her understanding of how power operates within our society. She was curious to understand how the conditions of extreme inequity she was witnessing in her daily practice were produced and sustained. The intention was that through this knowledge, Kyra would be better able to meaningfully intervene to help others. In addition, this degree developed Kyra’s language to speak to her own experiences of racism, sexism, and heteronormativity within a white settler colonial state.

Bilingual Bachelor of Science in Nursing/Baccalauréat bilingue ès sciences Infirmières
(2011 – 2015, UAlberta)
Kyra completed her nursing training in both official languages: French and English. The program emphasized the importance of cultural safe care — mainly linguistic minorities, like Francophones, in Anglo settings. Kyra recognizes that the colonial history of Canada determined the disproportional importance placed on français over other languages [in terms of funding, research, resource…]. Nevertheless, Kyra translated this learning into a variety of clinical settings, including her multiple global health experiences as a student nurse (China, 2014; Jamaica, 2015).