March 2022: Looking at Our Multiple Identities
Thank you to those of you who joined the conversations in February. There were so many important insights and questions that came out of the gatherings last month, one of those being the recognition that even though we all share a racial identity of whiteness, we come to CWC as unique individuals with different experiences based on our multiple identities, some of them privileged and some of them marginalized. As one member pointed out: “I love that CWC is a welcoming place where white people can share their journey to antiracism, but sometimes, in CWC gatherings, it feels like there is an assumption that everyone is not only white, but also straight, cisgender, Christian, able-bodied, and middle/upper class. I’m curious what it looks like to create a welcoming place for white people who may also have identities that are marginalized in our society.” We’re curious too, so we want to talk about that at our March gatherings. We thought we’d frame the conversation around the topic of “intersectionality," a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, and how the intersection of any marginalized identities we may have interacts with our privileged racial identity. We’ll use this video to help ground us in what intersectionality is and what it isn’t and get us thinking about our own experiences that are informed by our multiple identities. Here are some questions to help focus our reflection in the second half of the gathering:
How does the video change your understanding of intersectionality, if at all?
What questions do you still have about intersectionality after watching the video?
If you identify with one or more historically marginalized group (e.g., LGBTQ+, transgender, female, disabled, Jewish/Muslim/other non-Christian religion, poor, etc.), how do those identities impact your ability to reflect on the privileges you are afforded as a white person?
What does it look like to create a CWC that is a welcoming space for ALL white people to talk about racism, knowing that we do not necessarily share other social identities like gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, etc.?
What does/can it look like to center the voices of people with marginalized identities in your personal and/or professional life?
We know this is a big topic and will require more than one conversation to unpack, but we look forward to jump starting the conversation as a community. As always, if this month’s prompt doesn’t inspire you, don’t let that keep you from joining a gathering. Feel free to come with what ever is on you mind.
“Understanding the interconnected nature of oppression will help us realize the interconnected nature of liberation." -- Aditi Mayer, sustainable fashion blogger and activist exploring the intersections between style, sustainability, and social justice.