The University of Winnipeg



Winnipeg Public Screening Premier – Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Screening of Unnatural Causes will kickoff the next phase of the Healthy Living in the Inner City Speaker Series, 1–3 p.m. Saturday, December 13, 2008, in the Carol Shields Auditorium on the 2nd Floor of the Millennium Library. Free admission, refreshments and childcare provided.

Produced by California Newsreel and aired on PBS in 2008, Unnatural Causes is an epic documentary that is changing perspectives on health policy. The film is being presented by the Urban and Inner City Studies program at the University of Winnipeg, and will be followed by a facilitated group discussion (chaired by professor Dr. Judith Harris) linking issues raised in the film to problems faced by Canadians.

Unnatural Causes challenges popular assertions that our health is determined largely by diet, physical activity, and genetic make-up, instead asserting the strong role that socio-economic and racial inequities play. Factors such as education level, income, ethnicity, the surrounding environment, the control we hold over our own lives, and our access to resources “can get under the skin,” producing chronic stress. This can lead to deteriorated health outcomes, including a lowered immune system, higher blood pressure and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

While the U.S. has the greatest income inequality and the worst health of wealthy nations, income, food and housing insecurity in Canada persists. These ills plague Canada in the form of homelessness, child and family poverty, and discrimination against Indigenous groups and women, amongst others. The film should spark dynamic dialogue across a broad range of community sectors regarding parallels to Canadian issues.

Dr. Judith Harris, Associate Professor, University of Winnipeg
P: 204.786.9445, E: