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Dismantling White Supremacy Resource: The Urgency of Intersectionality

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw

For many of us, one of the highlights at last month’s Regional Assembly in Saint Louis was the Saturday evening viewing of a TED talk by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory, who is known for the introduction and development of intersectional theory. After watching the video entitled “The Urgency of Intersectionality,” participants divided up into various groups to share their responses. Many of the participants asked for a copy of the questions we used to facilitate the conversation. We include them here for your use. Prior to triad conversations, individuals were encouraged to pause before responding and sit with discomfort. Participants were given the opportunity to meet in POCI (People of Color and Indigenous) only, white only, or general caucus spaces. All caucus spaces had facilitators.

We encourage those of you who would like to explore Intersectional Theory gather together to watch Professor Crenshaw’s talk and have a conversation in your congregation.

First, view the TED talk video: “The Urgency of Intersectionality: Kimberlé Crenshaw” (20 minutes) https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality/up-next

Then divide into groups of three for Triad Discussion 1: (10-15 minutes)

  1. Take two minutes each to introduce yourself

  2. Share any identity that feels important for you to share

  3. Indicate if this was your first time seeing the video or if you have seen it before.

  4. Share what you are taking from this video/what struck you about this talk.  

Continue with Triad Discussion 2: (10 minutes)

  1. How does this video relate to what you have experienced and talked about regarding race in this congregation?

Then move onto these Large Group Questions:

  1. How have you borne witness to violence against black women? How can you continue to bear witness to violence against black women? (10-15 minutes)

  2. What actions and transformation are you willing to take/work for to change the frame to include black women and other people who experience greater discrimination due to intersecting identities? (10-15 minutes)

  3. When and how have you experienced a change in framing that has helped you recognize a social problem? Or: In what other ways do black women face intersecting discrimination? (10-15 minutes)