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CH&E Seminar Series

2020-2021 Schedule Mondays 12:30-1:30pm 

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Critical Race Theory – A Needed Analytical Skill in Health Research

Date & Time

Monday, March 8, 2021, at 12:30 – 1:30pm


OmiSoore Dryden, PhD, James R. Johnston Chair, Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine; Associate Professor, Department of Community Health & Epidemiology


Critical Race Theory provides important and necessary tools for conducting research and engaging in health practices allowing for engagement with complex racial concepts, while also challenging racism, specifically anti-Black racism. Anti-Black Racism is defined as “policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as education, justice and health care (including research) that mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards Black people” (Dr. Akua Benjamin). Critical Race Theory (CRT) offers the field of public health a paradigm for investigating the root causes of health disparities. Based on social justice principles, CRT encourages the development of solutions that bridge gaps in health, housing, employment, and other factors that condition living. In this presentation I outline the central tenets and uses of critical race theory and its application in two research projects – #GotBlood2Give / #DuSanÀDonner, Black gay and bisexual men’s experiences with Canadian Blood Services; and DontCountUsOut! a community-informed, culturally sensitive approach to health promotion for African Nova Scotian communities with an initial focus on COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker Bio

Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden, a Black queer femme, is the James R Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine, and Associate Professor, Community Health & Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. Dr. Dryden engages in interdisciplinary scholarship and research that focuses on Black LGBTQI people and HIV vulnerability within Black diasporic communities in Canada; systemic/structural issues that affect health and well-being, including experiences with blood donation in Canada; medical education; and Black health curricular content development.