by Marsha Rakestraw
All of us have a variety of characteristics that contribute to who we are: our gender and ethnicity.
Our income level and beliefs about religion/spirituality.
Our sexual orientation and level of able-bodiedness.
Our geographic location and age. And so much more.
Each of these characteristics can influence both our level of privilege and our level of oppression.
And when we have multiple characteristics that trigger discrimination and oppression, that discrimination can get compounded.
That overlap has been termed intersectionality.
Kimberlé Crenshaw is a legal scholar and a pioneer in critical race theory. In 1989 she coined the term “intersectionality” to highlight the fact that some people experience multiple or compounded types of oppression and discrimination (or exclusion and invisibility), because of the diversity in their identities.
Here’s a quick, kid-friendly definition of intersectionality:
Intersectionality is an important framework to understand, so that we can better empathize with the experiences of others, we can identify interconnected, complex forms of oppression, and we can develop meaningful, systemic solutions that address the needs and interests of all.
We’ve curated resources (websites, activities, videos, etc.) focused on issues of intersectionality, to help you learn and/or teach more about these issues.
Don’t forget to forward this to ONE person who would benefit from at least ONE of these resources.