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The Reading Room is a collection of books pulled from the Valley Library that related to a theme that is chosen with the help of students. Rotating every six months, the collection is a place to learn about current events and cultivate an atmosphere of learning. The goal is to introduce students to books that the library has while encouraging them to learn more through reading.
Our first theme, Reading Intersectionality, was picked with the help of Cece Lantz, our summer Promise Intern. On this guide, you can find information about what intersectionality is, details about the space, and links to electronic resources (ebooks, articles, and websites) under the intersectionality tab.
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Coined by Kimberle Crenshaw, 1989
Intersectionality means looking at the intersections of people’s identities and recognizing that oppression cannot be separated, and thus must be applied to social justice and diversity/inclusion intentions. It is a framework that recognizes the multiple aspects of identity that influence everyday lived experiences, and additionally complicate the ways in which oppression and marginalization play an effect. It represents the ways in which our many identities work together within our society to provide privilege in some areas and marginalization in others simultaneously.
For example, the way a white woman experiences sexism is different from a Black woman experiencing sexism, given intersectionality -- as the Black woman deals with both sexism and racism, however not separately. The type of sexism a Black woman faces is racialized sexism, as the specific experience of being a Black and a woman shapes the unique experience.
A visible illustration of this would be the wage gap:
Though we often hear that “women” make .75 cents to a man’s dollar, as you add the intersection of race/ethnicity, the gap becomes larger and the level of marginalization widens.
Similarly, Black women/femmes experience a different type of racism than Black men, given their intersection of gender.
Resources (if interested in learning more about intersectionality):
What Is Intersectionality and How to Practice It
“Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women” - Kimberle Crenshaw
Written by Cece Lantz, 2016 PROMISE Intern
Edited by Eugenia Rott, Student Outreach Coordinator