This program introduces participants to the language and frameworks of anti-oppression and social justice. It explores how the Canadian healthcare system continues to participate in discrimination and oppression. It also begins to explore how health care professionals can engage in praxis, which is theory-informed action in the pursuit of social justice.
Healthcare institutions are increasingly engaging in activities around equity, diversity and inclusion. However, these endeavours are often embarked upon in ahistoric and apolitical ways, which perpetuates harm. Participants will be asked to critically reflect on their own assumptions and behaviours to interrogate organizational practices and policies; and to identify ways to use their social power to disrupt, reshape, and reimagine our workplaces and institutions.
Building the Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Healthcare is offered in partnership between the Centre For Faculty Development and Office Of Inclusion And Diversity, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (UofT).
A working group of teachers and clinicians at UofT working and teaching within equity, social justice and anti-oppression spaces came together to develop the curriculum: Malika Sharma (Program Lead), Sameena Ahmed (Program Coordinator), Lindsay Baker, Ritika Goel, Ayelet Kuper, Stephanie Nixon, Onye Nnorom, Nanky Rai, Lisa Richardson, Shazeen Suleman.
Two 4-hour modules delivered via Zoom. Participants will have access to online resources, additional reading and questions that prompt reflection to facilitate their learning and help them develop a common language to facilitate dialogue during the synchronous sessions.
This program is situated within a transformative approach to education. This means that the ‘classroom’ may look different than the more traditional and didactic formats we are accustomed to in healthcare spaces, in terms of physical space, content, pace, and format. Each session may look slightly different, based on the needs, knowledge, and perspectives of those in the room. Facilitators and learners are encouraged to share, teach, and learn from one another. Learning may occur through storytelling, arts-based methods, dialogue, and self-reflection, among other approaches.
Module 1 will encourage participants to:
- Understand the ideas of power, privilege and intersectionality and apply these concepts to themselves and to their own institutions;
- Differentiate between reflection and reflexivity, and develop their skills towards engaging in reflexive practice
- Differentiate between commonly used “EDI” concepts in healthcare like cultural competency, allyship, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and move towards a broader understanding of anti-oppression, anti-racism and intersectionality.
Module 2 will encourage participants to:
- Gain a deeper understanding of how power flows through their institutions and how this perpetuates oppression, with an emphasis on anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism
- Gain a deeper understanding of how healthcare has been (and continues to be) tied to discrimination and oppression in the in the Canadian context
- Position themselves within social and institutional power dynamics as well as identify and act on their areas of accountability, influence and control, both within themselves and their institution.
We want to continue to provide space for these conversations and opportunities to engage with one another. As such, we are inviting members of all past cohorts of the program to participate in our informal Community of Support and Healing (COSH). We are aiming to host these sessions every 4 months. We are hoping that these sessions, like our modules, will be iterative, and change to meet the needs and desires of the participants. To get us started, we propose a loose idea of what these sessions could look like:
- Check in
- Guided discussion around a paper, video, or news article
- Discussion around challenges we may be facing in our workplaces in the pursuit of anti-oppression principles
- Opportunity to discuss what is working, and successes folks may have had in enacting change