Building the Foundations of Anti-Oppressive Healthcare

Health professionals are increasingly engaging in activities around equity, diversity and inclusion. However, these endeavours are often embarked upon in ahistoric and apolitical ways, which has the potential of perpetuating harm.

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.

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 (CFD) and Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID).

Educational Goals

Module 1 will encourage participants to:

  1. Understand the ideas of power and privilege and apply these concepts to themselves and to their own institutions;
  2. 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;
  3. 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:

  1. Differentiate between reflection and reflexivity, and develop their skills towards engaging in reflexive practice;
  2. Gain a deeper understanding of how healthcare has been (and continues to be) tied to discrimination and oppression in the in the Canadian context;
  3. Identify ways to act using their privilege to effect change, and identify strategies that will allow them to begin this work in their own institutions.
Format and Location
  • Currently offered virtually as a result of COVID-19
  • Two 4-hour modules delivered via Zoom
  • 1-hour of asynchronous reflective activities before/after each module
  • 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
Rania El Mugammar (she/her)

Artist, Anti-Oppression Consultant and Liberation Educator

Rania El Mugammar is a Sudanese artist, anti-oppression consultant, and liberation educator based in Toronto. Rania's artistic and community work is deeply rooted in Black Liberation. Rania is a published writer, award winning organizer, speaker, arts educator, and multidisciplinary performer, inclusion and liberation educator and consultant who is unflinchingly committed to decolonization and freedom as the ultimate goals of her work.

Malika Sharma (she/her) - Curriculum Lead

Staff Physician and Education Lead, Division of Infectious Diseases, St. Michael's Hospital

Malika Sharma is an HIV and Infectious Disease physician and Clinician Teacher at St. Michael's Hospital. She has a Masters in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Clinically, she focuses on caring for people and communities who are often marginalized and oppressed by our healthcare systems, including those who use substances and people living with HIV. Her teaching and scholarly interests center on anti-racist and feminist practices within medical education, harm reduction, and the structural determinants of health.

Ritika Goel (she/her)

Family Physician, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Faculty Lead for Social Accountability, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Chair, Social Accountability Working Group, College of Family Physicians of Canada

Ritika Goel is a family physician with the St. Michael’s Hospital Family Health Team and Inner City Health Associates in Toronto. She is the Faculty Lead for Social Accountability at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Toronto, as well as the Chair of the Social Accountability Working Group at the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Ritika has been engaged in health-related activism throughout her career and has been part of organizing with groups like OHIP for All, Canadian Doctors for Medicare and Doctors for Defunding Police. She is passionate about bringing lenses of anti-oppression and social justice into medicine, and is involved in various educational initiatives in these realms. Find her on Twitter at @RitikaGoelTO

Nanky Rai (she/her)

Family Physician, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre
2SLGBTQIA+ Health Education Theme Lead, University Of Toronto MD Program

Nanky Rai is a migrant settler from India-occupied Kashmir who is formally trained in public health and practices as a primary care physician in Toronto, on lands that should remain under the full jurisdiction of the Wendat, the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit nations. She works closely with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities including Black, Indigenous and other racialized queer, trans and gender nonconforming people, those who use drugs, those who are unhoused and or undocumented, and those living with the infectious complications of structural violence such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Nanky is also the 2SLGBTQIA+ Health Education Theme Lead with the Undergraduate Medical Education program at University of Toronto.

Curriculum Development Working Group:
  • Shazeen Suleman
  • Malika Sharma
  • Lisa Richardson
  • Nanky Rai
  • Onye Nnorom
  • Stephanie Nixon
  • Ayelet Kuper
  • Ritika Goel
  • Lindsay Baker
  • Sameena Ahmed

Sameena Ahmed
Education Program Coordinator
(416) 864-6060 x76215
Email Sameena

Lindsay Baker
Associate Director, Curriculum Integration and Partnerships
(416) 864-6060 x77417
Email Lindsay