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Season 1, Episode 2

Disrupting Whiteness

November 08, 2022

Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh has been raising tough conversations about Whiteness, White Supremacy, and racism for over ten years in the public health field. Whiteness is the practices, policies, and perspectives that create and enable the dominance of White people, norms, and culture. Listen to this episode to hear Sume’s personal story of growing up in Cameroon, becoming “Black” in Canada, and how she persisted – despite fear and constant pushback – in naming and disrupting racism in public health. Later in the episode, we hear from public health nurses Mandy Walker and Hannah Klassen who, inspired by Sume, share their research about how Whiteness shapes the nursing profession and how this can be changed. Mandy and Hannah are both registered nurses and Knowledge Translation Specialists at NCCDH, as well as recent Master of Public Health graduates. In this episode, you’ll hear from Sume, Mandy, and Hannah about how each public health practitioner can dismantle these practices, policies, and ideas.


Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh

Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh is the Executive Director of the Black Health Education Collaborative and an Assistant Professor at the at the University of Toronto. She is a catalytic leader who mobilizes knowledge and activates networks to advance policy and practice on social and economic issues that impact health and wellbeing.  She spent a decade with the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, where she provided leadership to public health practice on health equity, the social determinants of health including racism, in partnership with institutions across Canada. She holds a Master of Health Sciences in Health Promotion and Global Health from the University of Toronto. Hailing from Cameroon, she is grateful to live, work and play in Turtle Island and is committed to working towards decolonial futures.

Mandy Walker

Reflective guest Mandy (she/her) is a Registered Nurse and Public Health Professional with most of her career having a pediatric and family-centered care focus. She has 10+ years of clinical healthcare experience within an emergency department, acute care, and community setting. Her frontline work experience ignited and continues to inspire her passion and dedication in working to advance health equity and social justice. She now works as a Knowledge Translation Specialist at NCCDH.

Hannah Klassen

Reflective guest Hannah is a White cis-gendered woman with European-Settler and Métis ancestry living on Treaty 7 land. Her passion for health equity and social justice developed working as a Registered Nurse in substance use and perinatal health. She completed her Master of Public Health through the University of Victoria and is grateful to work as a Knowledge Translation Specialist with the NCCDH.

Episode Credits

This episode has been produced by Rebecca Cheff, Carolina Jimenez, and our host Bernice Yanful (NCCDH). Special thanks to our episode guests Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, Mandy Walker and Hannah Klassen. Coordination of communications, webpage development and dissemination are led by Caralyn Vossen (NCCDH). Thanks to Claire Betker and the rest of the NCCDH team for their support. Technical production and original music by Chris Perry. Artwork by comet art + design.

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