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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.

Program Description

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.

Program Structure

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 and draws from a number of teaching approaches, including critical and feminist pedagogies. Transformative education has the explicit goal of helping both “teachers” and learner work towards social change and helping them see themselves and the world differently. With it’s emphasis on equity and social justice, it often incorporates a more story-based or narrative approach and necessitates critical reflection, reflexivity, and dialogue.

Critical and feminist pedagogies encourage us to question our assumptions and think about how power flows in our relationships, institutions, and society. They ask both learner and “teacher” engage with the material and each other authentically. Traditional hierarchies between teacher and learner are flattened, with all participants actively involved in the co-creation of knowledge and valuing of the lived experience of everyone in the room.

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.

Meet our Faculty & Working Group

Coming soon.

Registration Details

Prerequisites: None

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

Format: Currently virtual with intent to offer in-person

Upcoming Dates: TBD

Fees: TBD

Register: Registration is currently closed.

Certificate: N/A

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Program Team

Malika SharmaProgram LeadSHE / HER
Sameena AhmedEducation Coordinator, Curriculum and ProgramsSHE / HER


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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.

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REGISTER FOR THE MEDICAL EDUCATOR COURSE! Streaming LIVE on Feb 3-4, 2022 | Equitable and welcoming environments | Assessment for Learning | Technology-enhanced learning |

Excited for the upcoming workshop @CentreforFacDev! This is a session you don’t want to miss! Limited spots remain. #facdev #meded #hpe


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