This blog was inspired by and developed in response to the global Black Lives Matter movement, in a commitment to continue the conversation around and fight against the injustices experienced by the Black community. As we find ourselves writing this during this critical moment in history, as well as during Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month, we have decided to take some time to talk about intersectionality – in hopes of shedding a light on the complexities of systemic marginalization.
Intersectionality is a framework for thinking about oppression that considers the complex and cumulative ways that multiple forms of discrimination (based on things such as race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and ability) overlap and intersect. Developed by lawyer, scholar, and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 and later to become a critical component of feminist ideologies, intersectionality provides a lens through which to consider compounding layers and impacts of marginalization. When thinking about oppression, we tend to focus on the most visible impacts in our society. But when we take a closer look, it becomes clear that what we tend not to see is deep, complex, and interconnected. Oppression, discrimination, and marginalization are not simple topics; they take time to understand and reflect upon.
What we tend not to see is the racism that is deeply rooted in our economic, legal, and financial systems. What we tend not to see is the racism that lives in each of our unconscious biases towards people of marginalized groups. What we tend not to see is how people of colour are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards and climate change. What we tend not to see is the intergenerational trauma rooted in lived experiences like slavery, the residential school system, and ongoing oppression. What we tend not to see are the experiences of Black Trans and Two-Spirit folks.
What we need are more Black, Indigenous, Queer, and other marginalized voices in our schools, workplaces, government, politics, media, society.
In a commitment to using our platform and privilege to discuss critical topics related to systemic injustices, we have decided to compile the following resources on some of the topics mentioned above. We believe it is best to listen to and learn from the voices of the people impacted most.
 Crenshaw, Kimberle (1989) “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989, Article 8. Available at: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/uclf/vol1989/iss1/8
What is intersectionality, and what does it have to do with me?
YW Boston. (2017, March 29). YW Boston.
Living at the Intersection.
Packnett, B. (2018, September 27). New York City, New York, USA. YouTube.
I’m a queer man of color. Here’s how intersectionality impacts me.
Valdes, R. (2020, February 26). WHYY
How does Intersectionality Relate to Indigenous and Western Linking Frameworks?
Stinson, J., Lusis, E., Murphy, T., & Ryan, B. (2018, December 21). Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.
The urgency of intersectionality.
Crenshaw, K., & Dobson, A. (2016, October 14). TEDWomen 2016. San Francisco, California, USA. TEDWomen 2016.
The intersectionality wars.
Coaston, J. (2019, May 28). Vox.
Kimberlé Crenshaw MAKERS Profile | The 2020 MAKERS Conference.
Crenshaw, K. (2020, February 10). Los Angeles, California, USA. YouTube.
On Intersectionality – keynote – WOW 2016.
Crenshaw, K. (2016, March 14). Women of Wisdom 2016. Seattle, Washington, USA. Southbank Centre.
Angela Davis on Black Feminism and Intersectionality.
Davis, A. (2006, February 25). Big XII Conference on Black Student Government. Norman, Oklahoma, USA. YouTube.
Angela Davis on Intersectional Feminism.
Davis, A. (2018, April 19). Leccion Inaugural 2018. San Pedro Montes de Oca, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Unconscious Bias & Implicit Bias
An Introduction to “Biased” by Jennifer L. Eberhardt.
Eberhardt, J L. (2019, August 7). Next Big Idea Club. Stanford, California, USA. Next Big Idea Club.
Meet the psychologist exploring unconscious bias – and its tragic consequences for society.
Starr, D. (2020, March 26). doi:10.1126/science.abb9022
Implicit Bias – how it effects us and how we push through.
Funchess, M. (2014, October 16). TEDxFlourCity. Rochester, New York, USA.
It’s About Time We Challenge Our Unconscious Biases.
Powell, J. (2016, November 15). TEDxStLouisWomen. St. Louis, Missouri, USA. TEDxStLouisWomen.
Environmental Racism, Environmental Justice, and Climate Change
Climate Change is a Social Justice Issue.
Laurent, A. (2018, May 31). TEDxUBC. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: TEDxUBC.
Sociology Live! (2015, November 12). Sociology Live! Alexandria, Minnesota, USA.
Environmental justice, explained.
Grist. (2016, January 26). Grist. Seattle, Washington, USA.
Black Lives Matter protests spotlight environmental racism.
Piven, B. (2020, June 19). Aljazeera.
It’s time to listen to the Inuit on climate change.
Watt-Cloutier, S. (2018, November 15). Canadian Geographic.
Black and Indigenous voices often missing from climate change discussions.
Borden Colley, S. (2019, November 12). CBC.
Intergenerational Trauma and Residential Schools.
Menzies, P. (2020, March 25). The Canadian Encyclopedia
Intergenerational trauma is ‘pain’ passed down generations, hurting Black people’s health.
Bowden, O. (2020, June 22). Global News
Black Trans History & Activism
When Black lives matter, Black trans people must be freed from discrimination and violence.
Milan, T. (2020, June 9). NBC News.
Black Trans* Lives Matter.
Stewart, D.-L. (2019, April 22). TEDxCSU. Fort Collins, Colorado, USA: TEDxCSU.
Marsha P Johnson
Celebrating Pride month.
Brooke, J. (2020, June 18). Telluride Daily Planet.
Marsha P. Johnson: The defender of transgender rights.
CNN Pride + Progress. (2019, June 26). CNN.
Two-Spirit Identity & Activism
What Does “Two-Spirit” Mean?
them. (2018, December 11). New York City, New York, USA. them. YouTube.
Candi Brings Plenty, Queer Indigenous, Two Spirit, cis Oglala Lakota Sioux Activist.
Brings Plenty, C. (2019, March 25). FRED Talks. Rialto, California, USA. YouTube.
QTBIPOC: Queer & Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
Lionel Cantú Queer Center. (2019, October 7). Lionel Cantú Queer Center.
Pride Month and Queer Solidarity: Why intersectionality matters.
Team Helsa. (2020, June 17). Helsa Helps.