Student Reflection

Pivoting From Global Health to Anti-racism Task Force for the Canadian Global Cooperation

BHSc Field School 

The Community Health Engagement Virtual Field Experience and Group Study Program in Uganda that I was registered in had been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. I was excited for the program as it would have allowed me to earn credits towards my degree and learn more about the social determinants of health in a low-to-middle-income country context.

I am very thankful to the Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office for providing studentship opportunities as an alternative to the cancelled group study program. The project assigned to me involved designing infographics based on the anti-racism baseline report for Canada’s international cooperation sector, as well as developing a distribution list for sharing baseline survey results.

Designing the infographics helped me practice and improve my creativity and adaptability. By considering comments from various committee members, I ensured that the infographics effectively and concisely communicated the benchmarks defined by the report to guide meaningful anti-racist shifts. I am happy to know the infographics can be used to help advise organizations on evidence-based strategies to promote human rights, achieve equitable outcomes, and address racial bias. 

Creating the distribution list allowed me to learn more about provincial and regional councils for international cooperation and their commitment to global social justice and social change. I was introduced to how these councils address the key needs of the Canadian international development community and how they support the diverse civil society organizations that they represent. 

Through the studentship, I formed valuable connections with professionals working in global health and international student services. Their advice and mentorship inspired me to seek further opportunities involving community engagement. They helped me recognize that community engagement can occur through various means and sectors while also being supported through research efforts. In my future endeavors, I will continue to be mindful of the multiple perspectives at play and seek and act upon feedback for the work I do. 

- Jonathan Alex | Biomedical Sciences | Bachelor of Health Science 

Jonathan student