Anti Racism Task Group

OPHA ARTG Website Text

Anti Racism Task Group

The OPHA Anti-Racism Task Group was formed in June 2020 in response to timely conversations about anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism following police violence across North America involving George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Rodney Levi, Chantel Moore, and countless others. While systemic racism is typically framed as an American problem, the Task Group was created to highlight the pervasiveness of racism, particularly anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism, in the Canadian context. 

Racism and anti-Indigenous racism are public health issues that require action through education, capacity building, and advocacy within and beyond the public health sector. Systemic racism and anti-Indigenous racism are embedded within all aspects of our society, including healthcare, education, employment, housing, and the law. They are manifested in the inequitable barriers that racialized and Indigenous peoples face in all of these sectors. In addition, racism and anti-Indigenous racism are social determinants of health that produce higher rates of chronic health conditions, mental health challenges, and earlier death for those who experience them. The Anti-Racism Task Group is dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression and advancing the health and wellbeing of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) across Ontario and Canada, now and in the future. 

Mission & Mandate

The Anti-Racism Task Group envisions an Ontario where everyone can fully achieve their best possible health, regardless of race, ethnicity, or Indigenous identity. Guided by this vision, the group will work to:

  • Promote anti-racist practice among public health professionals in Ontario and Canada
  • Identify and vocalize the ways in which racism and anti-Indigenous racism impact health outcomes among Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities
  • Advocate for an anti-racist public health and health care system in Ontario
  • Address racism and anti-Indigenous racism beyond the field of public health by working with and amplifying the voices of organizations across Ontario that are dedicated to social justice in healthcare and beyond

Activities 

The principles that guide the work of the Anti-Racism Task Group include:

  • Advocacy
    • Identifying and responding to anti-racist and anti-Indigenous racism practice from a public health perspective
  • Knowledge Exchange
    • Sharing of tools and resources within OPHA networks and beyond
    • Supporting partner organizations’ knowledge dissemination activities
  • Anti-oppressive decision-making
  • Racial justice and health equity
  • Distribution of power
    • Breaking down power dynamics between public health decision-makers and affected communities
  • Collective effort and mobilization
  • Work that is complementary to others and not duplicative
  • Work that is evidence-informed
    • Employing the best available evidence, where possible, and identifying gaps in evidence
    • Understanding the evidence base to include the lived experience and knowledge of Indigenous and racialized communities
  • Continuous learning and knowledge-seeking in regards to racism in public health and beyond, that does not exclusively rely on BIPOC as an educative source

Accomplishments to Date

Ongoing:

  • Consultation on OPHA initiatives and letters related to addressing racism and anti-Indigenous racism

Interested in joining the Anti-Racism Task Group?

Send an email to admin@opha.on.ca to learn more about the task group and ways to get involved. *Must be an OPHA member to join.

Events Calendar

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