The term intersectionality originally coined by American lawyer Kimberlé Crenshaw is used often these days, but what does it really mean? I tend to think of it as distinct items overlapping for one purpose. For instance, I’m an example of intersectionality when it comes to diversity. As a Black woman over the age of 45, no one should distinguish my ethnicity, race, age, and gender when thinking about how diverse I am. As they say in corporate America, “she checks all of the boxes.” However, my external diversity doesn’t completely define who I am. Other things like character, integrity, intellect, etc., make up a person’s full being. .
Intersectionality represents all of those things, making us all capable of bringing something unique to the table. Some of us simply have more “traditional” diversity than others, but does that make us better advocates for social justice? Not necessarily What truly matters in my mind is the heart. The heart to do what’s right and fair. I’m often saddened when colleagues discount the passion and yearning for equity from individuals who don’t represent external diversity. Remember, most people are “trying” to do the right thing. They are trying not to offend others, trying to ensure pay equity, trying to learn….
Last month, I decided to leave my corporate career behind and use my intersectionality to ensure equity for others by simply walking away from decades-old traditional workplace programs. I want to help professionals do much more than “try.” It’s time for something new. It’s time to act and create examples that transcend the traditional workplace. For the social justice movement to succeed and remain sustainable, we must turn our backs on some of the works of the past and have the courage to try something completely new…to innovate.
Follow me as I embark on this new chapter. I promise you, I will introduce you to something different. I will share “Mimisms” and strategies for success. Hear more about intersectionality through my new blog and podcast.
I look forward to seeing you here bi-weekly. It’s time for something new.