Race, Health and Happiness Podcast Highlights Game Changers
by Françoise Makanda, Communications Officer at DLSPH
The upcoming season of DLSPH Prof. Onye Nnorom’s popular podcast, Race, Health and Happiness (RHH) will showcase some of the game changers advancing anti-racism in health care.
Dr. Nnorom will be speaking with guests like Dr. Marcia Anderson, Gurneet Dhami, Kern Carter, Victoria Chan, Kike Ojo-Thompson and Dr. Samir Shaheen-Hussain for the podcast’s second season.
“Everyone always asks me what they can do to challenge structural racism,” says Nnorom, who is also a professor at the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.
“One thing that the guests have in common is that they bring together resistance and resilience as a team sport. They work together with a group of people to advance change. That’s what moves the community. It also helps them stay well.”
For instance, Dr. Marcia Anderson of The University of Manitoba is currently advocating for Indigenous culturally safe care within the healthcare setting. Dr. Samir Shaheen-Hussain confronts medical colonialism pertaining to children living in northern communities in a book published last year.
The RHH team say they handpicked each guest for their contribution and work to change, disrupt or dismantle the system’s status quo. Trying to dismantle the system, the act alone, affects one’s wellbeing, says Nnorom.
Last year, the podcast taught audiences ways in which they can stay happy and healthy. Now, the tone and mood have changed. George Floyd’s death spurred political action worldwide. Ongoing race-based data collection also demonstrates how BIPOC people have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. For Nnorom, the combination of both is shifting the conversation in the right direction.
“RHH resonates with a lot more people now,” she says. “People are now thinking about structural racism in a different way. People had time to take a pause and hear the issue at hand.”
Prior to the protests, the statement “Black lives matter” was misunderstood, but by summer 2020, it made its way to the mainstream consciousness, she says. Words like “dismantle” and “decolonize” which were used to understand structural racism are now part of the common vernacular, adds Nnorom.
The RHH team welcomes the change. They kick off season two on March 31 with Kike Ojo-Thompson.