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Let’s talk about applying intersectionality in public health: A two-part webinar series

This recording is one part of a series. To see the others please click on the ‘Playlist’ button in the top right corner.  

This webinar series took place in English with closed captioning and simultaneous French interpretation.

Intersectionality can refer to a concept, a framework, an approach, an analytical strategy and/or a social justice movement. 

The term is increasingly used (and misused) in both public health and in societal discourse. Public health approaches claiming to be rooted in intersectionality are often whitened, omitting race and racism; or flattened, lacking a focus on building power.

When applied faithfully, an intersectional approach can support public health actors to recognize multiple systems of power and oppression (e.g. racism, classism, sexism, colonization) and collaborate with others to tackle these systems. A more nuanced understanding of intersectionality, alongside critical reflection on what it means to apply intersectionality in public health, has the potential to transform how health equity issues are identified, examined and addressed.

About the series

In this two-part webinar series, participants will have the opportunity to review the historic roots of intersectionality, discuss its relevance to public health and health equity, and explore what it means to “take an intersectionality approach”.


Who should attend? 

Those interested in building their individual and organizational capacity to apply intersectionality, including: 

  • Public health practitioners, professionals, policy makers and decision makers; 
  • Instructors and educators;
  • Students; and  
  • Researchers. 


Event Format  

Webinars will be delivered in English with simultaneous French interpretation and live closed captioning*. Please see below for more information about each webinar. Registration will be limited, however, each webinar will be recorded and made available on the NCCDH YouTube channel. Participation in both webinars is encouraged, however not mandatory. Use the links below to register for the webinar(s) you are able to attend.

*Please note that simultaneous French translation and live closed captioning will not be offered during the breakout session portion of the second webinar in this series, however, participants will be given the opportunity to participate in a French-speaking breakout group. 


Webinars in this series:

Part 1: What is intersectionality, and why it is important for public health? | March 22, 2023 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET

Part 2: What are the opportunities to apply intersectionality and transform public health action? | May 3, 2023 | 1:00pm – 2:45 pm ET



Pemma Muzumdar,
Specialist, NCCDH
Bernice Yanful, 
Specialist, NCCDH


Related Resources

Let’s talk: Intersectionality and public health

Intersectionality: a curated list (2022)

How to integrate intersectionality theory in quantitative health equity analysis? (2022)

Public health speaks: Intersectionality and health equity (2016)


See other resources related to intersectionality and public health.


Part 1: What is intersectionality, and why it is important for public health?

March 22, 2023 from 1:00pm – 2:00 pm ET 

In this webinar, NCCDH knowledge translation specialists Pemma Muzumdar and Bernice Yanful will

  • summarize evidence on the historical roots of intersectionality;
  • outline its connections to critical race theory, the use and misuse of intersectionality, and its relevance to public health action; and
  • discuss how an intersectional approach, including continuous critical reflection, can be applied to four established public health roles for advancing health equity (assess and report, modify and orient interventions, partner with other sectors, and participate in policy development).

Following the first webinar in this series, participants will be able to

  • Describe intersectionality, its historical roots, and its relevance to public health; 
  • Consider when intersectionality is being misused (whitened or flattened); and
  • Identify resources to support learning on taking an intersectional approach.



Part 2: What are the opportunities to apply intersectionality and transform public health action?

May 3, 2023 from 1:00p.m. – 2:45 p.m. ET 

Taking an intersectional approach requires continuous critical reflection on both the complexity of the human experience and the actions necessary to disrupt oppressive systems. This is well aligned with public health actors’ intentions to address the structural and social determinants of health.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in breakout group discussions and hear from panelists with a range of perspectives on applying intersectionality public health practice. 

Following the second webinar in this series, participants will

  • Reflect on tacit knowledge shared by speakers with a diverse range of experiences and perspectives;
  • Analyze opportunities to apply intersectionality in public health practice, programs, policy and research; and
  • Engage in dialogue-based learning about applying intersectionality in their own organizational contexts.


Ramona Kyabaggu Samiya Abdi
Ramona Kyabaggu, Assistant Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina
Christian Daboud, Manager of Health Equity, Middlesex-London Health Unit
Samiya Abdi, Executive Director, Black Health Education Collaborative 
Ashlee Christoffersen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Simon Fraser University, Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh Maya Gislason, Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University
Shermeen Farooqi, Policy Analyst, Public Health Agency of Canada