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Colour Code

If there’s one thing Canadians avoid, it’s talking about race. This podcast is here to change that. Join hosts Denise Balkissoon and Hannah Sung for a conversation on race in Canada. We won’t have all the answers but we do ask bold questions.Theme music by Bonjay.

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Your Turn

In this, our last episode, we are featuring questions, comments and critiques from our listeners. It's a look back at the series while considering how we can all move forward with the conversation — how to approach and cope with discussions of race and identity at home, at school and with friends and family.


22 Nov 2016

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Surface Tension

Is anyone responsible for a hate crime beyond the person who committed it? Hannah and Denise visit Sutton, Ont., where a racially-motivated act 10 years ago resulted in a tragedy that changed lives forever. Warning: This episode contains racist language


15 Nov 2016

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Guest episode: The Cajun Reconnection

Colour Code takes a break to share an episode of Gravy, a podcast by our friends at the Southern Foodways Alliance. The Cajun Reconnection explores the culinary and cultural connections between the Cajuns of Louisiana and the Acadians of eastern Canada. Get more Gravy here: https://www.southernfoodways.org/gravy/


8 Nov 2016

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Race and Real Estate

The price of home ownership has skyrocketed in Vancouver, and many think foreign buyers – especially those from China – are a big reason why. Hannah visits the west coast city to learn the history of race and space in B.C. and speaks with Vancouverites, including an urban planning academic and a real estate agent. We talk to: University of British Columbia professor Henry Yu, realtor Melissa Wu, and urban planning academic Andy Yan.


1 Nov 2016

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Coined by educator Robin DiAngelo, the term “white fragility” refers to the emotional, defensive reaction some white people have to discussions of race. To explore the concept, Hannah and Denise revisit a recent conversation between Denise and a radio host that got more than a little bit uncomfortable. We talk to: Robin DiAngelo, CKNW program director Larry Gifford, and former CKNW host Ian Power and producer Zameer Karim


25 Oct 2016

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The Only One

Canada may be a multicultural country, but there are still many places with very few people of colour. As city kids, Denise and Hannah have always wondered: Is it lonely to be the only racialized person, or family, in a small town? We talk to: Musician Fritz Helder, Globe national food reporter Ann Hui, William Choy, mayor of Stony Plain, Alta., and restaurant owners Peter Li and Linda Xie


18 Oct 2016

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This episode explores the concept of legitimacy in talking about race in Canada, from what we consider shared knowledge to the very words we use. What histories do we all know and accept to be true? What vocabulary do we consider acceptable and accessible? We talk to: filmmaker Sylvia D. Hamilton, University of Waterloo professor Naila Keleta-Mae, and comedian Celeste Yim


11 Oct 2016

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First Comes Love

The number of mixed race relationships is growing in Canada. How do families negotiate race in the most intimate setting of all — at home, with the ones you love? We talk to: Globe reporter Sherrill Sutherland, who is biracial herself, Paul and Victoria Martin, a Black man and Chinese woman raising their family in Markham, Ont., Globe reporter Zosia Bielski, who covers relationships, and University of Toronto Scarborough professor Minelle Mahtani


4 Oct 2016

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The Angel Complex

On this episode, we discuss a core concept of Canadian identity – comparing ourselves to the United States. Race relations in our neighbouring country are often dramatic and sometimes violent. But does that mean our actual level of racism is lower? We talk to: Mohammed Hashim, labour activist and organizer of the online Muslim community Dawanet, Akio Maroon, human rights advocate and chair of Maggie’s Sex Work Action Project, and Denise’s brothers, Ian and Tony, Canadian expats in the U.S.


27 Sep 2016

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Pop, Power, Privilege

This episode features an intimate, one-on-one conversation with British-Sri Lankan musician and pop provocateur M.I.A. From living through war as a child to performing at the Grammys and the Super Bowl as an adult, M.I.A.’s experiences transcend many identities at once.


20 Sep 2016