Pride Edition 1- Dr. Notisha Massaquoi: Caring about the Survival and Wellbeing of Black Communities

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Jun 02 2020 45 mins  

Dr. Notisha Massaquoi is a highly respected expert in designing programs and services which aim to increase access to primary healthcare for racialized communities. During her lengthy career she has facilitated the development of several health organizations for Black communities in Canada including Africans in Partnership Against AIDS and the African Resource Centre. She is the Principal Consultant at Nyanda Consulting. She recently retired after 21 years as the Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands which is the only community health centre in Canada that specifically provides primary healthcare for racialized women. Her research and numerous publications have focused on the use of health equity data to improve health outcomes for Black women as well as the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Black communities. She is the Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism Advisory Panel of the Toronto Police Services Board which was recently responsible for producing the first mandatory race-based data collection policy for a police service in Canada. You can follow Notisha here.  And find some of her research here. You can also learn more about Women's Health in Women's Hands here.

In this podcast we talk about the need for race-based data in COVID-19 health outcomes, and how this pandemic is highlighting the racial health disparities we already know exist. Notisha walks us through how stigma shapes the journey to healthcare, and how early experiences of racism in healthcare can shape health seeking across the life course. We talk about Notisha's work with LGBTQ African refugees and how she integrated her social work background to provide support in the immigration process. We talk about caring about the outcomes of racialized persons beyond the data, seeing people as worthy of living, and being invested in their survival. We also consider the importance of how you represent people you are working with, clarifying your intent, and the longevity of your commitment. Notisha talks about the need to move out of our own bubbles to make real changes. Finally we talk about the importance of mentorship and moving beyond the 'no's' to reach your goals and dreams.

Episode hosted by Dr. Carmen Logie. Original music and podcast produced by Cozmic Cat. Supported by funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovationand Canada Research Chairs program.