Seminar Series: Arjumand Siddiqi

Date: January 15
Time:1:30 p.m. EST

"Race, Racism, and COVID-19 in Canada"Siddiqi_UNC.jpg

Arjumand Siddiqi, Sc.D.

Division Head and Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto

Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic has raged around the world, evidence is emerging that Canada resembles the United States in terms of the clear racial inequity in the impact of the pandemic. In fact, not only are ‘racialized’ people overrepresented among COVID-19 cases as a proportion of their population, but they also represent the preponderance of COVID-19 cases in Canada’s largest cities, such as Toronto and Montreal.  While racial health inequities are longstanding, and well known to members of racialized communities and to scholars, there has long been a reluctance by the government to officially track health (or other basic indicators of well-being) by race.  COVID-19 is the first time this is happening, and it is forcing long overdue discourses in Canadian society, not to mention heavy consternation about “what we can do right now” to address the racial distribution of COVID-19, in the context of the longstanding, deep seeded issues of racism that have gotten us to this point.  In this seminar, we will discuss the science of race, racism, and COVID-19 in Canada, and the dialogues that have emerged between scientists, community members, and government entities.