Considering and addressing structural oppression within the food system and the field of nutrition

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 11:00 am - 3:00pm ET (Virtual Workshop)



Angela Odoms-Young - Associate Professor, Director - Food and Nutrition Education in Communities Program, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University - CLICK FOR BIO


Eric Ng (he/him), Assistant Professor, Associate Director - MPH Nutrition & Dietetics Program, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto- CLICK FOR BIO

Tabitha Robin Martens, Assistant Professor, Applied Biology , University of British Columbia- CLICK FOR BIO

Treena Wasonti:io Delormier, Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition, McGill University - CLICK FOR BIO


Sharon Kirkpatrick, PhD, RD, University of Waterloo- CLICK FOR BIO

Sukhinder Cheema, PhD, Memorial University- CLICK FOR BIO

Virtual Workshop Overview

Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked worldwide protests and raised awareness about the deep history of systemic racism in policing in the US. This and other high-profile incidents, including the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by three white men while jogging, and spa owners/employees Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Yong Ae Yue and five others killed with a link to anti-Asian bias, provided a catalyst for interrogating how oppression and discrimination impact the experiences of Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) as they move through everyday life.  

While racism in Canada is often downplayed, events in Canada have provided a similar catalyst. These include the killing of Sammy Yatim, who was shot eight times and tasered by a police officer; the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell to her death from a balcony while police were in her home; the death of Joyce Echaquan in a Quebec hospital after posting videos of nurses taunting her with racist comments; and numerous discoveries of unmarked graves at multiple former Residential Schools. 

 Despite growing attention to the pervasive impact of racism and other forms of discrimination on health and nutrition, the role that overlapping systems of oppression (e.g., racism, heteronormativity, and income inequality) play in shaping dietary behaviors at the individual and family level has been largely unexplored in mainstream nutritional research. Interrogating this oppression is critical to moving forward to address it in a meaningful way. 

Drawing from her work in the United States, Dr. Angela Odoms-Young will lead virtual workshop participants through an examination of how racism and other forms of structural oppression are embedded in the food and nutrition system and contribute to inequities in dietary behaviors and chronic disease risk.  Dr. Odoms-Young will highlight how using a structural violence lens and applying critical theory and liberation research approaches can help identify and dismantle white supremacy in dietary guidance/counseling, food assistance provision, and intervention design. 

Panelists will imbue Canadian perspectives on structural oppression in the Canadian food system and field of nutrition, with the aim of identifying ways forward to create a more just food system and improve dietary outcomes and racial and other forms of equity.


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to: 

  1. Describe diet-related disparities/inequities that contribute to excess death in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) populations across the life course. 
  2. Discuss how a structural violence lens can be applied to understand the root causes of disparities/inequities in nutrition and chronic disease risk. 
  3. Explain how addressing structural oppression within the food and nutrition system can help improve dietary outcomes and how nutrition interventions and policies can be leveraged to promote racial equity. 

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Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 11:00am - 3:00pm.  All times ET.  - The full program will be conducted as a VIRTUAL WORKSHOP

11:00 - 11:10
Welcoming Remarks
Introduction to the speaker and session
Sharon Kirkpatrick, PhD, RD - University of Waterloo
11:10 - 11:55
Moving from Nutrition Equity to Power: Viewing Diet, Food Insecurity, and Food Access through the Lens of Structural Violence, Liberation, and Peace
Angela Odoms-Young, PhD - Cornell University
11:55 - 12:10
12:10 - 12:15
Introduction to Small Group / Pair-Share exercise
Dr. Angela Odoms-Young
12:15 - 12:30
Small Group/Pair Share Exercise #1
12:30 - 12:45
Report Back and Discussion
12:45 - 13:00
Small Group/Pair Share Exercise #2
13:00 - 13:15
Report Back and Discussion
13:15 - 13:30
13:30 - 15:00
Panel Discussion with Q&A
Moderated by Sharon Kirkpatrick, PhD, RD - University of Waterloo and Sukhinder Cheema, PhD - Memorial University
Eric Ng, PhD Candidate, RD -  University of Toronto 
Tabitha Robin Martens, PhD - University of British Columbia 
Treena Wasonti:io Delormier, PhD, PDt -  McGill University  

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© 2022 CNS-SCN - Canadian Nutrition Society