W33 – Aiming to Do Better: Report of the Structural Racism and Discrimination Task Force

W33 – Aiming to Do Better: Report of the Structural Racism and Discrimination Task Force

Saturday, Oct. 21
15:45 – 16:45 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Orca (3rd floor, B Tower)
Oyedeji (Deji) Ayonrinde*, MBChB, FCPA, FRCPC; Jaswant Guzder, MD; Nikhita Singhal, MD; Mark Hamson, MD; Eric Jarvis, MD; Polina Anang, MD; Shabbir Amanullah, MD; Rahel Wolde-Giorghis, MD; Oyedeji (Deji) Ayonrinde, MD; Gary Chaimowitz, MD; Oyedeji (Deji) Ayonrinde, MD
Supported by the Structural Racism and Discrimination Task Force

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Health Advocate
  2. Leader
  3. Professional

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Better understand the insidious effects of racism and discrimination; 2) Consider the intersectional impact of mental illness and racism/discrimination on patients and colleagues; and 3) Be aware of the opportunities and strategies to address racism and discrimination in psychiatric practice.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) created the structural racism and discrimination task force to provide leadership and expert advice to the CPA on matters related to current state, indigeneity, social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. This interactive workshop will be an opportunity to hear about the task force’s work and from members about what the CPA can do to move this important agenda forward.
Despite a clear call and roadmap to address structural racism in American psychiatry, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1970, this work has been slow. We know and widely accept that the negative effects of racism and discrimination have permeated society and our professional organizations. In step with other national professional psychiatric associations, the CPA has moved to address this. Still, there is more work to do, especially as the impact of racism and discrimination can be insidious. We will address this within our organization but also have a responsibility of advocacy and allyship to speak up and act on behalf of these values. As psychiatrists, we are especially committed to addressing the profound impact of intersectional racism, discrimination, and stigma on the mental health of patients and colleagues.
We will discuss our work to date, including our commitment to updating policies and procedures, raising awareness, and creating a living literature “repository.” We also seek guidance from our members on the next steps.


  1. Paluck EL, Porat R, Clark CS, et al. Prejudice reduction: progress and challenges. Ann Rev Psychol 2021;72:533–560.
  2. Shim R. Dismantling structural racism in psychiatry: a path to mental health equity. Am J Psychiatry 2021;78:575–672.