In college, I was first introduced to the concept of intersectionality, and as a woman coming into my own perspectives, this concept shook me to the core. Everything I thought I understood about rights to education, jobs, housing, and healthy, prosperous life were now probed by concepts of power. These concepts all found themselves intersected at points of oppression, struggle, but also resilience and strength.
These points of connection—or intersections—allowed for a deeper understanding of the multidimensional barriers different people and communities face.
“Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.” — Kimberle Crenshaw
I was green and fresh in my first Sex, Women, and Power class when I was first introduced to the concept of intersectionality. Our professor assigned us reading from Kimberle Crenshaw, who coined the term intersectionality in 1989. While understanding more about the term intersectionality validated parts of my identity, it also challenged me to lean into the discomforts of the privileges I carried (and still carry).
Intersectionality is weaved throughout the work at the 11th Street Bridge Park and can be seen in its programming, equitable development, partnerships, funders, volunteers, and staff. The Bridge Park team understands that to better serve a community full of unique identities, it is important for staff to actively address and build programming that supports and empowers community members based on their experiences. I am eager and ready to apply this concept of intersectionality in my work in order to amplify even more voices and better meet the needs of the community.
Thanks to the Bridge Park team for the opportunity to join the efforts to foster more sustainable, long-lasting, and intersectional opportunities for residents East of the Anacostia River!
Posted: September 3, 2021