What is an Intersectionality Panel Discussion?
Intersectionality Panel Discussions are a series of CREW events designed to start conversations and raise awareness in communities by attempting to dissect interconnected social issues with a diverse panel of experts, stakeholders, and community leaders. These discussions also allow community members to hear from and interact with organizations that are working in their area. CREW seeks to build sustainable, equitable, sustainable grassroots resilience in communities. This resilience is built through planning, strategy, and education. Intersectionality Panel Discussions are one of CREW’s education initiatives.
Roots of Intersectionality
Intersectionality is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. The term was originally popularized by law professor Kimberle Crenshaw in her 1991 article “Mapping the Margin”, the article explained that intersectionality can be defined and understood through the idea that people who are “both women and people of color” are marginalized by the fact that they face discrimination and oppression because of their multiple identities. Acknowledging Intersectionality is to acknowledge the reality that all social issues are interacting and impacting one another. It is important to remember that the concept of Intersectionality has its roots in feminism and the Civil Rights Movement.
Contemporary Use of "Intersectionality"
Contemporary use of the term "Intersectionality" has been used as a blanket term for any issues that intersect and are interconnected. The theory of Intersectionality is useful for critical reflection on social issues and can be used as an analytical tool to uncover power relations and ponder new innovative solutions.
CREW and Intersectionality
Intersectionality is important to CREW because it allows us to highlight the value of resilience and preparedness. For example, if CREW can raise awareness that Sea level rise will have a dramatic impact on food supply in New England which will therefore expropriate already existing food insecurity issues, we can reframe the way people approach and solve issues. CREW uses the concept of intersectionality to show social issues as interconnected parts rather than existing in silos.