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  • Writer's pictureQuarterly

Issue 13 - Exploring intersecting forms of oppression, race, and health at the individual level

Updated: Apr 14

Welcome back to Quarterly. 

This year, Quarterly will focus on how race intersects with other forms of oppression across different spheres of health. Race is one of many social categories that are used to enforce and maintain structural discrimination and exists amongst a constellation of experiences, histories, and identities. Black feminist scholarship teaches us that the oppressive structures leading to racism’s harmful effect on health are woven through identifiers, creating overlapping and parallel experiences of oppression, otherwise known as “intersectionality”. When looking at health and racial injustice through an intersectional lens, we can see clearly how these social hierarchies work. This allows us to advocate for a multi-dimensional approach to social justice, health and wellbeing for minoritised communities who experience minoritisation in different ways. By focusing on intersectionality throughout 2024, Quarterly hopes to explore how the health community can deepen our conception of “intersectionality” in practice, in understanding, and in our values. 

Each issue will zoom into different dimensions of our health where we will unpack the meaning of intersectionality: We’ll focus first on individuals, then communities, health systems, and structures. These spheres are based on the conceptual model developed by the Lancet Series on racism, xenophobia, discrimination and health.

In This Issue:

  • Looking back: New podcasts episodes, Commission updates, and film reviews by the members of the R&H Collective

  • Spotlight: Tanisha Spratt on the importance of intersectionality in racial health equity

  • Comment: Intersectionality and disability by guest writer Sana Fatima Khan

Looking Back

New Episodes of the Race & Health Podcast

History of Medical Racism | Listen here.

Humans have attempted to make meaning out of our physical differences for centuries. As this thinking evolved, the associations between disease and race grew closer—but not without political intent. This association has polluted our understanding about the relationship between race and health, leading to the continual use of outdated and harmful medical practices and perspectives in clinics around the world. In other words, the history of medical racism is one of colonialism and eugenics. Join us in this episode as we explore what this means, and how this historical evolution impacts today’s medical practice and politics.

Epistemic Justice | Listen here.

Whose knowledge is represented in our health research, policies, and practice? Who is heard, listened to and believed in our health system, and why? There are differences in not only whose perspectives are represented in society, but also what knowledge is valuable. This episode explores the concept of epistemic injustice: the idea that knowledge and systems of knowledge production favour the perspectives of those at the top of the social hierarchy.

Under the Skin | Listen here.

This episode is about how the social construction of race and its operators take a physiological toll of chronic exposure to racism. Guests discuss maternal and child health, the concept of race and biology, and how constant microaggressions, systemic inequalities, and overt discrimination can lead to a sustained state of stress that goes far beyond mere emotional distress.

Launch Event: Lancet Commission on racism and child health

The Lancet Commission on racism and child health, Chaired by co-founder Delan Devakumar, launched late last year. The event recording is now available on our YouTube channel. Watch to learn more about this upcoming research project exploring how racism and discrimination shape minoritised children's health around the world. Watch here.

Film Review Featured on The Lancet

Delan Devakumar and colleague Hadjer Nacer recently published Daring to dream: a message of hope and togetherness in The Lancet. The review explores Waad Al-Kateab's documentaries about refugee experiences, including the film maker's personal life. The review touches on Al-Kateab's two films, We Dare to Dream and For Sama, and draws relevant points of importance for refugee well-being more broadly. Read the review here.

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