Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

This is a podcast for the curious. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay, and journalist Sally Armstrong.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

Subscribe to the podcast now.


Oct 26, 2018

Complete show notes are below the description.

Racism has been a sad part of the human story for a long time. After slavery was finally abolished in the United States in 1865, it took a hundred years for governments to make formal legal equality real -- and still, social segregation, ethnic discrimination and systemic prejudice continue today. It might even be getting worse. What is racism all about in our age of rising white nationalism and the re-emergence of identity politics, and what can we do about it?

Ben is in St. John's, Newfoundland, to get to the bottom of it with Professor Sulaimon Giwa of Memorial University.

What on Earth is Going on: Podcast Episode 26.

Show Notes

Episode 26: What on Earth is Going on with Racism? 

Notes on the Conversation

Ben and Sulaimon discuss the meaning and manifestations of racism, especially in the often-overlooked and downplayed Canadian context. In addition, they hit upon the following:

  • Racisms (plural), identity politics, cultural appropriation and privilege
  • Diversity of thought as well as background in academia
  • The built-in prejudices of a society that is increasingly data-driven
  • The concept of truth and truths as distinct from fact
  • The interesting idea of leveraging white identity
  • Racism and identity in the local context of St. John’s and Newfoundland

About the Guest

Dr. Sulaimon Giwa is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Critical Thinking and Reflection, Social Justice, and Social Work Practice.

His doctoral research explored the experiences of, and resilience (including coping strategies) of gay men of colour, to racism. It received the runner-up distinction for the Barbara Godard Prize for the best York University dissertation in Canadian Studies.

Dr. Giwa holds a Diploma in Law and Security Administration from Fleming College, with a specialization in Police Education; a Bachelor of High Honours in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University, with a concentration in Law and minor in Women’s Studies; a Master’s of Social Work from Carleton University, with a substantive focus on Social Policy and Administration; and a PhD in Social Work from York University, in the specialty areas of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. 

Dr. Giwa’s professional experience includes direct practice; research and policy work at the community and federal level, primarily in youth health promotions, community and organizational practice in diverse communities, corrections (including as a Community Parole Officer and Case Manager for Time for Change, a Crime Prevention Ottawa funded gang exit program), and policing.

His applied research program and professional activities centralize critical race transformative pedagogies and theories as frameworks and analytic tools for social justice and equity. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of race and sexuality; critical social work pedagogy; antiracism/oppression; and the criminal justice system. He has taught in the social work programs at Ryerson University and York University, and in the Police Foundations program at Sheridan College.

Further information about Dr. Giwa’s academic and professional work can be found at

Written by the Guest

Non-Academic Publications

LGBTQ immigrants need better settlement services by Sulaimon Giwa, published in the Conversation Canada, 27 May 2018

Newfoundland needs immigrants and anti-racism action now by Sulaimon Giwa, published in the Conversation Canada, 18 April 2018 

Academic Publications

“Coping with Racism and Racial Trauma” by Sulaimon Giwa, published in the Psychic Life of Racism in Gay Men’s Communities, edited by Damien W. Riggs (Lexington Books, 2018)

Foundations of Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression in Social Work Practice” by Gordon Pon, Sulaimon Giwa and Narda Razack

Is There Racial Discrimination in Police Stop-and-Searches of Black Youth? A Toronto Case Study” by Yunliang Meng, Sulaimon Giwa and Uzo Anucha, published in the Canadian Journal of Family and Youth (Vol. 7, No. 1, 2015)

Further Reading

The Government of Canada’s Anti-racism Resources: a list of supporting resource materials.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by sociologist Robin DiAngelo, with a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson. Non-Fiction, analysis. New York Times Bestseller. Published in 2018.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, correspondent for The Atlantic. Written as a letter to the author’s teenage son, with a focus on race relations in the United States. Winner of the 2015 National (US) Book Award for Nonfiction. Published in 2015.

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King, American-Canadian writer and broadcaster. Canadian bestseller and winner of various prizes, including the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize. Published in 2013.

The Quote of the Week

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

From Our Dead Behind Us: Poems by Audre Lorde (1934-1992), American writer and activist.