Self-intro: My name is Jenny Hammond and I work in Alumni Relations at Deerfield Academy. I graduated from Smith in 1990. After graduating, I’ve been able to volunteer for the Alumnae Association of Smith College in many roles: Smith Club member, Alumnae Admission Representative and founding member of the Smith Asian Alumnae Connection. Most recently I finished my term on the Nominating Committee for the Alumnae Association Board and I’m currently serving on the Affinity and Special Interest Committee, along with Carrie Stewart and others.
Ask participants how they define identity.Merriam-Webster:1.a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instancesb : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness2.a : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual : individuality
Wikipedia abbreviated:Intersectionality “seeks to examine how—various biological, social and cultural categories such as gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and other axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality. Intersectionality holds that the classical conceptualizations of oppression within society, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and religion-based bigotry, do not act independently of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, creating a system of oppression that reflects the ‘intersection’ of multiple forms of discrimination.”-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IntersectionalityKimberle Crenshaw (quoted):“Intersectionality is a concept that enables us to recognize the fact that perceived group membership can make people vulnerable to various forms of bias, yet because we are simultaneously members of many groups, our complex identities can shape the specific way we each experience that bias.”
This illustration shows some areas of intersectionality. In order to truly move forward in social justice work, policy makers and agents of change need to take on the intersectional lens: not forgetting those that fall in the intersection. When we are dealing with large groups of people at different stages of their own identity journeys, be careful not to demonize or isolate one group over another. It’s exactly at that point of intersection that you leave someone wounded, needing advocacy. (share experience at 2008 Alumnae Association Women of Color Conference)“One of the common misperceptions of intersectionality is that it is a “let’s look at everyone” approach. Too often we slip back into an additive perspective.” We feel that we can’t focus on feminism, because all of our passion is about our race/ethnicity. “The focus here is … coming to see all forms of privilege, and examining their intersections. Each student is asked to examine her/his own position, in terms of the interactions of race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability. In this context students are positioned in the classroom not as bad guys and victims, but as students who all experience some forms of privilege, which interact in shaping their lives. As we move beyond that point, it is crucial to examine the ways in which these experiences of privilege are nevertheless not the same, or equal, and we avoid attempts to rank them.”Abby Ferber, Bringing Students into the Matrix: a framework for teaching race and overcoming student resistance (excerpts from forthcoming book Teaching Race in the Age of Obama)
Up/Down segment:This exercise will give us a chance to learn about the may similarities and differences among us AND points of intersectionality. I am going to mention a number or groups. When you are a member of a group, please raise your hand or stand proudly for your group! Stand/Raise your hand for as many groups within one category as apply to you. If you are not raising your hand/standing, applaud and cheer wildly for those who are!
Transition: I will share with you my personal narrative where I focus specifically on race, but from an intersectional perspective. This means that I recognize that gender, class, sexuality and other social identities shape and continue to shape my experiences my their racial identity.
My identity: Japanese-American, multiracial, transracial adoptee, cisgender heterosexual female, middle class, middle-aged, Christian, and able-bodied. Did I forget anything?
As we participate in the workshop, remember: we chose to take the red pill! It’s not easy, it’s tiring, but oh so worth it!
Think Outside the Box: identity and intersectionality
Think Outside the Box Identity and Intersectionality Jenny B. Hammond Deerfield AcademyPicture: http://jjorozco.com/work-with-jj-orozco/think-outside-the-box/
Efforts must be expanded to make the practice ofintersectional awareness routine so that the hardwork of creating and sustaining non-exclusive socialjustice initiatives becomes second-nature toeveryone. ~Kimberle Crenshaw
Jenny B. Hammond ‘90Twitter: JennyBHammondBlog: adoptionfusion.blogspot.com