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Antiracism resources for child and youth health care providers

A selected list of resources on racism in health care and medicine, its effects on children and youth, and how health professionals can learn about and practice antiracism.

Racism in the health care system

A discussion paper by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada with recommendations to improve care for Inuit Women by confronting anti-Indigenous racism in Canadian health care.
Policy and discussion paper, Pauktuutit, April 2021

Racism in medicine collection, New England Journal of Medicine, 2020/21

"Our understanding of race and human genetics has advanced considerably since 2003, yet these insights have not yet led to clear guidelines on the use of race in medicine. The result is ongoing conflict between the latest insights from population genetics and the clinical implementation of race.
New England Journal of Medicine, August 2020

Anti-Indigenous racism in health care
“This series of three fact sheets focuses on racism experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada – how to understand it in historical context, how it affects individuals and communities, and what programs, policies and strategies exist to combat it.”
Fact sheets, National Collaborating Centre on Indigenous Health

Acknowledge the truth about racism in health care
Video clip from “Partners in Reconciliation: Health care leaders working together as allies in Indigenous health”, delivered by Dr. Margo Greenwood of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health and Dr. Radha Jetty of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario at the CPS Annual Conference.
Video, YouTube, June 2019

Healing racism in Canadian health care
“Ingrained problems of racism and discrimination will not be solved until the system is changed so that health care is delivered in a way that is culturally competent and inclusive of an Indigenous model.”
Commentary, CMAJ, 2017

First Peoples, second class treatment: The role of racism in the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada
“This paper explores the role of racism in the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It provides an overview of the historical and contemporary contexts of racism which…negatively shape the life choices and chances of Indigenous peoples, and then examines the ways in which racism fundamentally contributes to the alarming disparities in health between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.”
Discussion paper (Executive Summary also available), The Wellesley Institute, 2015

Effects of racism on children and youth

Racism and its effects on pediatric health
A collection of papers published over the last 10 years in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ peer review journal, Pediatrics
Resource list, AAP website, 2020

Racism and Its Harmful Effects on Nondominant Racial—Ethnic Youth and Youth-Serving Providers: A Call to Action for Organizational Change
“The positions presented in this paper provide a comprehensive set of recommendations to promote routine clinical assessment of youth experiences of racism and its potential impact on their self-concept, health and well-being, and for effective interventions when affected youth are identified.”
Position paper, Society for Adolescent Medicine, August 2018

Implicit Bias in Pediatrics: An Emerging Focus in Health Equity Research
“Recent reports highlight how implicit and explicit bias contribute to the experience of racism and discrimination in child and adolescent health….To truly address implicit bias in pediatrics, we must approach solutions with an understanding that it is not about how individuals feel but how they process information, which can impact clinical decision-making and consequently health outcomes.”
Commentary, Pediatrics, May 2020

Racism’s Roots in Medicine and Impact on Early Childhood
In this presentation, paediatrician Dr. Nathan Chomilo discusses how the different levels of racism manifest in medicine, racial socialization in children, and how child health professionals can address various forms of racism.
University of Minnesota Grand Rounds, YouTube, January 2020

The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health
“By acknowledging the role of racism in child and adolescent health, pediatricians and other pediatric health professionals will be able to proactively engage in strategies to optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement, and research in a manner designed to reduce the health effects of structural, personally mediated, and internalized racism and improve the health and well-being of all children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families.”
Policy statement, American Academy of Pediatrics, August 2019

Transmitting Trauma: A systematic review of vicarious racism and child health
“Given the recent national exposure to racially-charged events, a deeper understanding of the association between vicarious racism and child health is crucial in fueling research-informed social action to help children, families, and communities exposed to racism.”
Research paper, Social Science & Medicine, April 2017

Antiracism in medicine and health care

Guidance on human resources, allyship, strategic planning, and fostering EDI in membership and professional organizations.
Toolkit, Doctors Nova Scotia, March 2022

From Stories to Action: Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Health Care
McMaster University, Department of Medicine, Chair’s Grand Rounds. Featuring Sarah Adjekum, Lyndon George, Dr. Ameil Joseph, Dr. Madeleine Verhovsek
Webinar, YouTube, October 1, 2020

Getting “Our House” in Order: Re-building academic pediatrics by dismantling the anti-Black racist foundation
“Becoming anti-racist requires acknowledging our miseducation and racist programming, by striving to challenge and unlearn the views we hold closely, and examining the policies, structures and systems, in which we operate, that perpetuate racism. The very foundation of our profession is intertwined with racism and white supremacy – negatively impacting each aspect of academic pediatrics: clinical practice, research, education, workforce and leadership, as well as advocacy and community engagement.”
Journal pre-proof, Academic Pediatrics, August 2020

Stolen breaths
“Although there is much to do, we recommend that health care systems engage, at the very least, in five practices to dismantle structural racism and improve the health and well-being of the black community and the country.”
Perspective, New England Journal of Medicine, July 2020

Diagnosing and Treating Systemic Racism
“Our actions must be driven by the data highlighting inequity in medical school admission and graduation rates, the dearth of black medical faculty, and the low grant-funding success rates for black biomedical researchers.”
Editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, July 2020

Bringing Reconciliation to Health Care in Canada: Wise practices for healthcare leaders
“Discusses critical issues facing Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and the role that Canadian health leaders play in helping to close the health gap.”
Report, HealthCareCAN, 2018

Learning to be an antiracist

Using a case-based approach, the authors provide specific guidance that bystanders can take to leverage their privilege and interrupt microaggressions.
Journal article, Pediatrics, 2021

Is there a "cure" for racism? Celebrated anti-racist activist and author Ibram X. Kendi says yes, there is
“The link between racism and health has been laid bare this year as [Ibram X.] Kendi and his team at Boston University have tracked the racial breakdown behind COVID-19 data, revealing that Black people and people of color are infected and die at disproportionately high rates.”
Interview, Association of American Medical Colleges, October 2020

The difference between being “not racist” and antiracist
“There is no such thing as being "not racist," says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, he defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs.”
TED Talk, YouTube, June 2020

Key public health resources for antiracism action: A curated list
“Experiences of racism are widely recognized to have a negative impact on the health outcomes of Indigenous and racialized peoples. As a result, racism is a key, stand-alone determinant of health and well-being. [This is] a list of tools and resources that public health practitioners can use to understand and act against structural racism.”
Resource list, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, February 2018

The Lens of Systemic Oppression
“The lens of systemic oppression is a lens we intentionally employ to sharpen our focus on the ways in which any given form of oppression (race, gender, class, language, sexual orientation, etc) may be negatively impacting people’s ability to make progress on the things they care about and/or preventing individual or collective action toward the achievement of a particular goal.”
Resource, National Equity Project, n.d.

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Last updated: Aug 16, 2023