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Dr. Ingrid Waldron, HOPE Chair in Peace and Health, Faculty of Humanities McMaster University

New awards, new research for HOPE Chair in Peace and Health Ingrid Waldron

Waldron, whose research and advocacy work focuses on environmental racism and the structural determinants of health, has been named one of the inaugural Global 50 Women in Sustainability by SustainabilityX Magazine, a non-profit digital magazine based in Canada.

Oct 12, 2022

The awards recognize women who are leaders in sustainability around the world. This year’s honorees are from a range of sectors including business, entertainment, academia, law and politics.

“As a Black woman who recognizes that Black, Indigenous and other BIPOC women are often disproportionately impacted by COVID, climate and conflict, I strongly believe that women’s leadership must involve mentoring future generations of BIPOC women to take up leadership positions to address these challenges,” Waldron said on SustainabilityX’s website.

Last week, Waldron was also named the top contributor to the Education and Thought Leadership category and received the 2023 Education and Thought Leadership Award in the Clean50 awards, a biennial recognition of Canada’s sustainability leaders. Award recipients in 16 categories are chosen from a shortlist called the Clean50, which includes nominees from areas including manufacturing, financial services, research and development, and non-profit groups.

Along with her work in McMaster’s Global Peace and Social Justice program, Waldron is also the founder and director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health (ENRICH) Project, a collaborative, community-based initiative investigating cause and effects of toxic industries near Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities.

Her book, There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities was turned into a 2020 documentary on Netflix. Co-produced by Waldron, actor Elliot Page, Ian Daniel and Julia Sanderson, the film made its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019.

Her 2020 study on Black women’s experiences with mental illness and help-seeking in the Halifax Regional Municipality led to the Nova Scotia government funding the Nova Scotia Sisterhood Initiative, the first health service for Black women in Nova Scotia. The service launched in the spring of 2022.

Waldron has recently received funding for three new studies that explore health experiences among Black communities: one, with co-PI Lydia Kapriri, on experiences of dementia in Black communities in the GTHA, one on the experiences of Black youth seeking help for mental illness in Hamilton, and one, with co-PI Chandrima Chakraborty, on the experiences of loss due to COVID-19 in Black and South Asian communities in the GTA.

“I’m honoured to have been recognized by both the Clean50 awards and as one of The SustainabilityX Magazine’s Global 50 Women in Sustainability,” says Waldron, who is also the co-founder and co-director of the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice.

“Environmental racism is starting to be recognized for what it is: an outcome of policy and decision-making, and a form of structural, systemic violence that has a significant impact on health, especially that of vulnerable and marginalized populations. Awards like these allow that awareness to spread even further.”

To find out more about Ingrid Waldron’s latest work, go to the Brighter World website.