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Webinar: Disrupting the colour-coded labour market: Implications for public health organizations

This webinar took place in English. Click here to access the recording (English only).

Systemic racism, employment and income are key factors that influence the health of communities. What happens at the intersections of racism and work?

The “colour-coded” labour market in Canada is such that employment and income inequities persist along racial and gender lines. Systemic racism at different points of the employment cycle (e.g., type of work, recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion) significantly contribute to racial and gender inequities in employment and income.

Racial inequity in the public sector

Public sector organizations, including public health, can play a role in assessing and eliminating racial inequities in employment, starting from where they have the most direct locus of control — within their own institutions. This can be done by directly engaging in racially equitable employment practices.

Effective organizational change and a range of workplace strategies exist to directly address racism and improve employment experiences and income. There are also a few emerging instances where these strategies have been implemented in public sector organizations.

Change in public health organizations

In their roles as employers, public health organizations are encouraged to reflect on how they engage with employment-related policies within their organizations, such as employment equity and anti-discrimination legislation.

The webinar:

  • discusses the relationship between racism, employment and income as determinants of health;
  • provides insight to the current state of affairs in Canada; and 
  • identifies how public health organizations can act to reduce racial inequities in employment, with a focus on how the public health sector can ‘walk the walk’ and address these inequities within their own four walls. 


Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist, NCCDH
Dr. Fareen Karachiwalla, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Public Health, Community and Health Services Department, The Regional Municipality of York  

Related resources

Let's Talk: Racism and health equity Key public health resources for anti-racism action: A curated list Persistent Inequality: Ontario’s Colour-coded Labour Market

Click here to access the recording (English only).

  • Presenters:
  • Dr. Fareen Karachiwalla, 
  • Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh
    Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh

    Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, MHSc

    Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist

    Sume has professional experiences in equity-focused organizational and community development and change, social justice education, HIV/AIDS prevention, research, knowledge translation, evaluation and women's rights with local, provincial and global organizations. Sume has previously contributed to teams at the Program Training and Consultation Centre of the Smoke Free Ontario Strategy, the Regional Diversity Roundtable, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Southern African AIDS Trust and the Centre for Social Justice. Sume holds a Masters of Health Sciences in Health Promotion and Global Health from the University of Toronto.

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