Me and White Supremacy

by Layla Saad

“the future of global health is increasingly under threat, (...,) all of which disproportionately threaten the poor, the young, the elderly, and future generations.”

Based on the original workbook, Me and White Supremacy leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.

Dear Members,

These last few months, events across the country and the world confirm health inequities at the intersections of race, colourism, indigeneity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, class, geography & etc. are still ongoing (Lopez & Gasdsen 2016). These inequities are also at play in environmental struggles and the climate crisis (i.e. UN 2019). We believe that as nurses concerned about our environment, we are called to learn and act to reduce these inequities (i.e. Astle et al. 2019). Our vision is one of planetary health equity.

In the fall of 2019, CANE reviewed our Constitution to add to our organization’s objectives the adoption of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, as well as an active stance of intersectionality in our work.

We offer you this virtual Book Club with these objectives in mind.

We will hold a virtual space where we can reflect on Layla Saad’s acclaimed workbook Me and White Supremacy. Moderation will be held by Marilyne Tovar. She is a white-presenting settler of Quebecoise and Peruvian origins living on unceded Haida territory, and the BC representative of the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment.

CANE Summer Bookclub

To begin

  • Safety: Discussing white supremacy, race and privilege needs to happen with clear intentions of maintaining safety amongst us; acknowledging that it may lead to discomfort and difficult conversations. We will ask you to sign an agreement to guidelines for holding this safer space together with care for each other. We are learning, may make mistakes, and value accountability and repairing harm if it happens. We also know that these kinds of conversations and discussions are valuable in deepening our understandings, fostering change, empowering us to action.
  • PoC moderation: Please email Marilyne if you are interested, so that we offer a space held for/by Persons of Colour (PoC) only. The current space is set to be moderated by a white person, and so we will ensure a second PoC event is created if any request is made as we know it is “crucial to the resistance of oppression” (Blackwell 2018).
  • The time entailed for this bookclub will be: (a) time to do the 28 day workbook challenge (variable length), as well as (b) two 90 minute virtual meetings at 2 week intervals, July 14 and July 30th 2020 (in english, français à venir sur demande).
  • Email to save a spot. We will be a maximum of 12 per session. We may offer this again if there is more interest than we can hold space for.
  • Please buy the book either via or at your local/preferred bookstore, so as to be ready to begin by July 1st 2020.
  • Virtual access We will be using the zoom platform, which offers either a video or phone option, details will be sent once registered.
  • Accessibility: As needed, please let us know what your access needs or considerations are before we start at Marilyne’s email, shared above.
  • Inviting your input: Closer to the book club date, we will send an email seeking your questions and proposing an outline for the book club discussion. Let’s make this a co-creation! We intend a facilitation process that ensures every voice can be welcomed during our time together.
  • Big thanks to the Irresistible team, whom amicably allowed us to use their guidelines for their bookclub as a reference for ours. To honour their work, it was important for us to make a monetary contribution for these guidelines.

Astle, B., Bourque-Bearskin, L., Dordunoo, D., Egert, A., Houweling, R., Moen, N., Plamondon, K., Radu, R., Sanderson, D. & Smith, C. (2019). Nurses for Planetary Health: A Call to Action. NNPBC Blog.

Blackwell, K. (2018, August 9). Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People. The Arrow: A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture and Politics.

Lopez, N. and V. L. Gadsden. 2016. Health Inequities, Social Determinants, and Intersectionality. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC.

United Nations. (2019). 2019 Climate Action Summit.

Veidis, E. M., Myers, S. S., Almada, A. A., Golden, C. D., & Clinicians for Planetary Health Working Group. (2019). A call for clinicians to act on planetary health. Lancet, 393(10185), 2021.