When I first heard the word “intersectionality,” I kept getting it confused with intersectoral. I’ve come to realize, they are very different; however, both are very important to what I do and who I am.
Intersectoral, a term of great familiarity, simply refers to the interaction or collaboration between autonomous groups. As one who has worked with public and nonprofit organizations for a very long time, collaborations and partnerships are critical to accomplishing goals. Thus, an intersectoral approach
On the other hand, intersectionality describes cultural patterns of oppression that are interconnected and should not be examined separately. As a black woman in America, I face two important systems of oppression, race and sex. This is not to say that on every occasion I am oppressed because of either. But what this does say is that I face structural or institutional barriers those in non-oppressed groups don’t experience.
It is very important to understand the role of power and privilege and those with both are viewed in our society. The challenge here is that most individuals in positions or groups of power are often the least compelled to identify, discuss, or address systems of power.
This is insightful. We often hear discussion about race or gender or class. Rarely do we hear discussion about the intersection of all three.
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The more I learn, the more intrigued I become. As someone who teaches diversity, I love uncovering things and bringing awareness.