Privilege 101: Power, privilege and oppression in the context of health equity – Spring 2017

Date: April 22, 2017, 9am-5pm (on-site workshop)

Flyer for this course

To register: I’m sorry this course is now closed to new registrations

There is an article and video about this course on the Faculty of Medicine Website found here.


The course includes online pre-and post-course learning, and a full-day interactive on-site workshop. This course is intended for people interested in health equity who wish to deepen their understanding of privilege. The course is particularly designed for clinicians, health profession educators, health researchers, and people working in health policy. People from all stages of their career are welcome – from students to those in senior positions.

Online Learning: 

  • Participants should expect to devote 2-3 hours to pre-course learning.
  • Pre-course materials will be released on April 7, prior to the on-site workshop.
  • Participants will also be expected to devote 1-2 hours in post-course online reflection and resource-sharing.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Define and analyze privilege and its relationship to one’s own work
  • Describe why privilege is relevant for health and health care
  • Describe an anti-oppression framework (the “coin model” of privilege and oppression)
  • Analyze why an anti-oppression framework is relevant to one’s own work
  • Describe intersectionality and why this approach matters for health
  • Describe the tenets of allyship
  • Apply the concepts of allyship to one’s own work on health and/or social justice

Course Outline:

This workshop uses kindness, humour and critical reflection to explore ideas of privilege and oppression and their impact on health. We will draw on examples from pop culture and everyday life to deepen understanding. Through a collaborative learning approach, the workshop will enable participants to build connections with others who are interested in developing awareness of privilege and allyship within the context of health.

Course Content:

  • Pre-reading and pre-viewing (e.g., online videos) via an online portal
  • Interactive workshop activities to introduce core concepts
  • Practical application of new knowledge to health issues
  • Reflection activities to apply new knowledge to personal learning
  • Post-course reflection and debrief via an online portal


Stephanie Nixon, PT, PhD 

Stephanie Nixon presentingStephanie Nixon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, cross-appointed at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She has been an HIV activist and global health researcher for 20 years. She completed her PhD in Public Health and Bioethics in 2006 at the University of Toronto, and a post-doc at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from 2006-2008. Stephanie is co-founder and Director of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation.

Stephanie is a straight, white, middle class, able-bodied, cisgender female of settler descent who tries to understand the pervasive effects of privilege. In particular, she explores the role of power and privilege in shaping health research, education and practice. She has taught faculty, clinicians, researchers and students about privilege and its relationship with health equity at the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University and McGill University. She has delivered addresses on this topic to the Canadian Conference on Global Health, the Global Symposium on Health Services Research, the Campus Alberta Student Conference on Health, St. Michael’s Hospital Annual Faculty Development Day, the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, and the Centre for Global Child Health at Sick Kids Hospital.



500 University Avenue, Room 140 (on the 1st floor), Toronto, M5G 1V7

Registration Fees:

  Early Bird (received on or before March 31, 2017) Regular (received after March 31, 2017)
Participants $250 $345
Students or ICDR-members $95 $145
  • Students: Includes undergrads, graduate students and post-docs.
  • ICDR-members: Includes anyone already part of an ICDR-Group or having participated in ICDR Forums. If unclear, contact ICDR Director at
  • For those with financial means who wish to donate the cost of registration to enable participation of people without the ability to pay, please contact Stephanie Nixon directly.

Registration includes light refreshments and a course manual and workshop materials.

For further information please email:

The University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy reserves the right to limit enrolment to ensure the quality of a course for learners.

The University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy reserves the right to cancel a course if there is insufficient enrolment.

Cancellations must be requested 5 working days prior to the start of the course. Cancellations are subject to a $75 administration fee.

Munk School of Global Affair and U of T Joint Program Logo Centre for Bioethics