EP16: Environmental Racism & Social Determinants of Health with Dr. Ingrid Waldron

Health isn’t just about genetics and biology. In fact, factors external to our bodies have been shown to impact our health to a greater extent than we previously thought. In this episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Ingrid Waldron – an associate professor at the University of Dalhousie in the Faculty of Health and the Director of the ENRICH Project.

Her research looks at inequities in our social structures and how they impact mental and physical health. This conversation gives a summary of her mental health research, her work with Black and Indigenous communities impacted by environmental racism, and how we can help fight environmental racism as individuals.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What are social determinants of health
  • How stress, stigmatization, and eco-grief affect health, especially of those living in polluted communities.
  • What is environmental racism
  • How Dr. Waldron approaches her research, from a community-driven and multi-media lens
  • How this research led to a book, film, and ultimately affected legislative change
  • How you can support communities experiencing environmental racism

Dr. Ingrid Waldron is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University and the Director of the NGO Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project). As the Director of the ENRICH Project over the last eight years, Dr. Waldron has been investigating the socio-economic, political, and health effects of environmental racism and other public infrastructure inequalities in Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities. The ENRICH Project formed the basis to Dr. Waldron’s first book There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities, which received the 2020 Society for Socialist Studies Errol Sharpe Book Prize and the 2019 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing. 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. The ENRICH Project also formed the basis to the creation of the provincial private members bill An Act to Address Environmental Racism (Bill 111), which was introduced in the Nova Scotia Legislature on April 29, 2015, and the federal private members bill a National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230), which was introduced in the House of Commons on February 26, 2020 and moved to second reading on December 8, 2020.

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

Free 5-Day Training Series, How to Create a Healthier Home without Overwhelm: https://greenathome.ca/training

The ENRICH Project: https://www.enrichproject.org/

There’s Something in the Water
Netflix Documentary: https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/81206890
Dr. Waldron’s Book: https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/there8217s-something-in-the-water

How to Support Bill C-230 A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism: https://www.enrichproject.org/billc-230/

Dr. Waldron’s Twitter: @waldron_ingrid

Dr. Waldron’s Linktree: https://linktr.ee/Iwaldron

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