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Building the Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Healthcare

Program Objective

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.

Program Description

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.

Educational Goals

Module 1 will encourage participants to:

  • Understand the ideas of power and privilege and apply these concepts to themselves and to their own institutions;
  • 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;
  • Differentiate between and problematize 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:

  • Differentiate between reflection and reflexivity, and develop their skills towards engaging in reflexive practice;
  • 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.


Rania El Mugammar 
Artist & Anti-Oppression Consultant

Malika Sharma
Program Lead


Sameena Ahmed
Education Coordinator, Curriculum & Programs

Malika Sharma
Program Lead

Registration Details

Prerequisites: None

Who should register: Anyone interested in anti-oppressive practice and social justice in healthcare.

Format: Virtual

Upcoming Dates:
March 23 and April 13, 2022 (cohort is full).
May 12 and 26, 2022 (registration is open).

Fees: The program follows a pay what you can (PWYC) model

Register: Click here. 

Certificate: N/A

Share this Program


Thought-provoking and a lot of "unlearning". Framed a lot of mainstream ideas in a digestible yet radical way that makes me feel confident in having future discussions. Enjoyed the comfortable environment - everyone was free to share.  Great day!    

The way the material was presented in a form of story telling, as well as dialogue among participants, was really engaging and meaningful.  

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Q. Is there a cost to attend your programs?

A. There is a cost to participate in some of our programs. The cost of each of our programs varies and in some cases, the cost varies depending on your status with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto and/or in which hospital you work.

Q.I do not have a faculty appointment in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Can I still attend your workshops, programs and/or events? Is there a fee?

A. Anyone whose education activities include teaching, leading, scholarship and advocacy are welcome to attend our workshops, programs and/or events. Specific pre-requisite criteria may apply. Please refer to each workshop, program or event page for details. All fees and discounts (where applicable) can be found in the workshop, program and event pages.

Q.I am interested in having one of your workshops offered at my home site/department. Do you offer this type of service?

A. Please contact us for further information.

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Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Centre for Faculty Development
Li Ka Shing International Healthcare
Education Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital
209 Victoria Street, 4th floor

Mailing Address:
30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8


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