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Figuring It Out

Oct 29, 2020

Today, I sit down with Dr. Ingrid Waldron - a fellow Canadian - to talk about her work on mental illness in black, indigenous, and other racialized communities in Nova Scotia, environmental racism, systemic racism, social determinants of health, her experiences with racism as a child and adult, and 3 things we can all do right now to make change. 



Dr. Ingrid Waldron was born in Montreal. She is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University, the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project) and the Flagship Co-Lead of the Improving the Health of People of African Descent. 


Her research, teaching, and community leadership and advocacy work are examining and addressing the health and mental health impacts of structural inequalities within the environment, public infrastructure, health and mental health care, and child welfare in Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee communities. 


The 2020 Netflix documentary There’s Something in the Water is based on Dr. Waldron’s book and was co-produced by Waldron, actress Ellen Page, Ian Daniel, and Julia Sanderson, and co-directed by Page and Daniel. 


Her research also led to the creation of two private members bills for addressing environmental racism: the Nova Scotia bill An Act to Address Environmental Racism (Bill 111), which was introduced in the Nova Scotia Legislature in April 2015, and the federal bill A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230), which was introduced in the House of Commons in February 2020.


Dr. Waldron is also conducting several studies on mental illness in Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities in Nova Scotia, focusing specifically on the mental health impacts of discrimination, stigma, and barriers to help-seeking. She is also collaborating with a team of researchers and community members to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the African Nova Scotian community in the Prestons. 


Finally, Dr. Waldron is currently developing the first national anti-environmental racism coalition with partner Naolo Charles, which will bring together partners from multiple sectors to address and advocate around environmental racism, climate change, health inequities, and other social justice issues in Canada. 


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