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Black Health Education Collaborative: The important role of Critical Race Theory in disrupting anti-Black racism in medical practice and education

This resource provides an introduction and rationale for the implementation of Critical Race Theory in health education and practice disciplines. While Critical Race Theory is not new, its implementation within health is emerging. Implementing this theory is a much-needed approach for combating systemic anti-Black racism and oppression. 

This easy-to-read two-page commentary, written by the Black Health Educational Collaborative, is an excellent entry-level resource for medical and health practitioners and learners who wish to learn about Critical Race Theory.

What is the Black Health Education Collaborative?

The Black Health Education Collaborative is a community of practitioners and scholars who are committed to improving Black health through research and education. In discussing Critical Race Theory, the Black Health Education Collaborative seeks to equip practitioners and learners with tools to address anti-Black racism and White supremacy.    

Critical Race Theory, where to start?   

Anti-Black racism is pervasive within public health, medical and health systems. Critical Race Theory supports public health to: 

  • Confront anti-Black racism by problematizing the Eurocentric construction of “race”.
  • Examine indoctrination of White supremacy within broader structures and institutions including those in practice and health education.
  • Position colonization’s racist legacy of attempted eradication of Indigenous peoples and enslavement of African peoples, as having a lingering consequence on the health of Black and racialized people in Canada.
  • Illustrate the impacts of anti-Black racism on the health of Black people and populations.

Implementing Critical Race Theory within public health will support moving beyond acknowledging anti-Black racism exists within systems, practice and services. Critical Race Theory allows public health to critically interrogate how anti-Black racism is functioning and enables action to disrupt the racist status quo in public health practice.


Use this resource to:

  • Facilitate discussion with peers and co-workers about colonization’s White supremist legacy and the construction of “race” and anti-Black racism. 
  • Guide education for health practitioners rooted in Critical Race Theory with aims to dismantle White supremacy. 
  • Build knowledge about Critical Race Theory and its use as a theoretical lens for public health projects, practice, service delivery knowledge development and research.


Related Resources:

Let’s talk: Racism and health equity

Let’s talk: Whiteness and health equity

Public health action to address Whiteness: A curated list

On knowledge and racism: How do we know what we know?

The cutting edge

Addressing Inequities in the Era of COVID-19: The Pandemic and the Urgent Need for Critical Race Theory

Engagement, governance, access, and protection (EGAP) framework

Implementing anti-racism interventions in healthcare settings: A scoping review


See other resources on racism and racialization.



Douglas, D., Ndumbe-Eyoh, S., Osei-Tutu, K., Hamilton-Hinch, B.-A., Watson-Creed, G., Nnorom, O., & Dryden, O. H. (2022). Black Health Education Collaborative: The important role of Critical Race Theory in disrupting anti-Black racism in medical practice and education. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 194(41), E1422–E1424.

Tags: Racism/racialization, Anti-Black Racism, Intersectionality, Commentary