Mar 21, 2024

New educational tool on Black Health launches in Canada

Education, Partnerships, Inclusion & Diversity
Portraits of Onye Nnorom, OmiSoore Dryden and Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh
Professors Onye Nnorom, OmiSoore Dryden and Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh
By Elaine Smith

A new online course on Black health and anti-Black racism in the Canadian health-care system will now be available to learners across Canada, and its creators say the tool will be a momentous step in creating more equitable care for Black Canadians.

The primer was created in response to gaps in education and training on Black health and anti-Black racism in medicine and public health in Canada, say its founders and creators Onye Nnorom, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, an assistant professor at Dalla Lana, and OmiSoore Dryden, the James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine.

The primer is intended for medical and health learners, faculty, educators and health-care practitioners. Its founders say the online set of courses can be used for continued professional development at health-related institutions and organizations. It applies to Black communities and Black health nationwide.

“Black people in Canada experience health and social inequities rooted in anti-Black racism,” says Nnorom. “The historical impacts of slavery on this land affect Black people today and influence the stereotypes they experience in health care.

“By providing education on the issues that Black communities are facing in their everyday lives, the racism they encounter in health care and better anti-racist approaches to care, we, the Black Health Education Collaborative, believe the primer can improve the quality-of-care Black Canadians are receiving.”

“Furthermore, these modules were designed to support the ‘unlearning’ of racism and learning racially just practices which improve health for all,” says Nnorom.

The primer was designed by the Black Health Education Collaborative (BHEC), a group of Black scholars and practitioners committed to transforming medical and health professional education in service of improving the health of Black communities across Canada.

The BHEC is based out of the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University in Halifax.

The BHEC, supported by Dalla Lana, Temerty Medicine, and Dalhousie University, will launch the Black Health Primer at a March 21, 2024, event, ‘Why Anti-Racist Healthcare Matters.’

“The Public Health Agency of Canada has highlighted that ‘Anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination are key drivers of health inequalities faced by diverse Black Canadian communities’ and, yet health-care professionals – from doctors to public health professionals – are not taught about the ways in which anti-Black racism negatively impacts the health of Black communities,” says Ndumbe-Eyoh, who is BHEC’s executive director.

“This is a significant failing which leads to health professionals practising without the knowledge and skills required to provide adequate care for Black patients and communities,” Ndumbe-Eyoh adds.

“It is our hope that the medical students, doctors, nurses, and students who are in other health fields will complete the training and be inspired to provide better quality care,” says Nnorom, who is a co-founder of the Black Health Education Collaborative, with Dryden, and host of Healthcaring Differently.

The launch of the Black Health Primer takes place on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

  • Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET 
  • Delivery: Online, via Zoom
  • Registration: Click the link here

More information on the primer is available at