Intersectionality and How It Influences Our Lives From Social Movements to Our Health

1.The Combahee River Collective Statement. United States, 2015. Web Archive. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

This work was written by the Combahee River Collective, an organization of Black feminists created in the 1970s. In this statement, they discuss their beliefs and contemporary Black Feminism and the issues they wish to tackle. The authors discuss the history of Black Feminists and specific Black women activists throughout history. They examine the origins of this type of feminism and how it arises individually and in the conscience of Black women as they experience both racism, sexism, and the combination of the two in their lives. Additionally, the authors bring up an important issue surrounding the current movements at the time; the racial and gender politics of the time do not provide a space to Black women in the way that they have not considered the ways their identities intersect to create a unique experience of oppression. I will use this source to provide context on why intersectionality is important in discussions concerning the process of achieving liberation for all regardless of social identity. Here, intersectionality is not referred to directly but it is discussed when the author mentioned the need for acknowledgment of the issues of Black women who are forced to face discrimination as a convergent between their race and gender.

2. Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review, vol. 43, no. 6, Stanford Law Review, 1991, pp. 1241–99,

In this work, Kimberle Crenshaw, a scholar on critical race theory, establishes and defines the concept that we now know as “intersectionality” and how this explains the experience of women of color concerning violence, specifically domestic violence, and rape. In this source, Crenshaw explores how the structures created by society, particularly race and gender, shape the experience of women of color. These structures lead women who are victims of violence to live through poverty, continued abuse, and limited work opportunities. Later on, she analyzes how previous approaches to this issue have failed to provide a solution as they have split the issue into either race or gender, failing to understand the experience of women of color. This source will allow me to introduce intersectionality through the paper that labeled the issue and analyze the real-life effects a lack of an intersectional approach has on women of color.

3. “Disability is intersectional ft. Keri Gray.” YouTube, uploaded by Disability & Philanthropy Forum, 9 July 2020,

In this source, Keri Gray, founder of a group that works with organizations and individuals concerning disability, race, and gender, introduces how being disabled, Black, and a woman create a dynamic in her life that cannot be separated. She describes how though many approach issues based on individual identities, this will not be able to produce true freedom. Additionally, the inclusion of black disabled people and other marginalized groups in movements toward the liberation of all individuals will allow for the eventual creation of a system that recognizes everyone and leaves no one out. I will use this source to introduce how there are several identities besides race and gender that affect individuals and use the quantitative information in the source to discuss how disability intersects with race and gender.

4. Hankivsky, O., Reid, C., Cormier, R. et al. Exploring the promises of intersectionality for advancing women’s health research. Int J Equity Health 9, 5 (2010).

This article, published in the International Journal for Equity in Health describes the need for an intersectional approach in women’s health research as it is needed to assure that power is given to those being treated. The article argues for a need for future research on what this method of treatment would look like and how it would be applied as researchers in the past have demonstrated that recognizing every single structure an individual faces is a difficult task to complete. The research was able to focus on developing methodologies and conclude that an intersectional approach to women’s health can allow health conditions faced by mostly marginalized women that were once ignored to be treated and shift focus away from the previous narrative that women’s health only concerns white, straight, able, and middle-class women. I will use this article to demonstrate the potential benefits of an intersectional approach in the medical field and depict how society views a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities that can influence their well-being.

5. Irazábal, Clara, and Claudia Huerta. “Intersectionality and Planning at the Margins: LGBTQ Youth of Color in New York.” Gender, Place & Culture, vol. 23, no. 5, 2015, pp. 714–732.,

This source, published in the Journal of Feminist Geography, discusses how the experience of LGBTQ youth regarding the lack of resources and safe spaces and how this has led them to be monumental in creating a community with aid in New York City. As mentioned in the article, LGBTQ individuals often face disenfranchisements coming from various sources, whether that is their race, gender, class, or sexual orientation. This necessitates the need for an intersectional approach when creating safe communities, something that these groups of people understand very well. Their understanding of their experiences allows them to be able to develop resources for individuals like them and their community in general. I will use this source to demonstrate how understanding intersectionality individually will allow people to mobilize effectively towards the freedom of all marginalized groups like the studies in the article did.

6. Jackson, Jhoni. “La Lucha Es De Todes: How Puerto Rico’s Feminist Movement Is Moving toward Intersectionality.” Remezcla, 13 Mar. 2019,

This news article, written on Remezcla, a platform for creatives that began as a grassroots project, reflects on the mobilizations in Puerto Rico and how it has evolved to include various issues. Jackson discusses how the issue with capitalism and the debt of the country has formed a resistance among Puerto Ricans. The resistance included activists fighting for various causes all under one movement demonstrating a step towards intersectionality. Different movements began separately but eventually converged, some were on education rights, worker’s rights, women’s rights, and trans rights. I will use this source to demonstrate how intersectionality allows for solidarity among individuals that may not directly experience the issues but can stand together and fight for each other.

7. “Kimberlé Crenshaw on Intersectionality, More than Two Decades Later.” Columbia Law School, 8 June 2017,

This article focuses on the information gathered by Columbia Law School through the interview with Kimberle Crenshaw, a scholar on critical race theory, and how the term she coined decades ago is relevant today. Throughout the interview, Crenshaw discusses how intersectionality has influenced current movements. Additionally, she answers how the term can help us understand how women of color are still erased in politics today for example, in the 2016 election and how this is an important concern to better the country. This source will allow me to expand on how intersectionality can not only be applied towards creating better movements but also understand how society ignores the intersectional approach and the negatives that arise from this.

8. Lewis, Jioni A., et al. “Applying Intersectionality to Explore the Relations between Gendered Racism and Health among Black Women.” Journal of Counseling Psychology, vol. 64, no. 5, 2017, pp. 475–486.,

This article published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology applies the concept that Black women face gendered racism leading to issues with their health. Particularly, the stress of experiencing discrimination and violence at a higher rate because of the intersection of race and gender negatively affects Black women’s mental and physical health. The article describes how the idea of intersectionality has influenced the field of psychology but not to the fullest extent and how implementing this intersectional approach can allow for more accurate information. This source will allow me to use the quantitative data in the research to demonstrate how it is not just politics that intersectionality can be applied to. The various structures individuals are forced to live under society create obstacles and restrict freedom in every aspect of their life. 

9. Petersen, Amy J., “Exploring intersectionality in education: The intersection of gender, race, disability, and class” (2006). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 327.

This source, published by the University of Northern Iowa, analyzes the experience of Black women and how their disability and class affect their ability to achieve quality education. This work examines how the identities of the women examined influenced their opportunities and left them with a confusing idea of identity. Their image of themselves shifted as they constantly were told who they were and their limits by others. However, the women researched demonstrated resistance by simply advocating for themselves and continuing to pursue their education despite the words of others. They did not perform large acts of resistance in the sense of a movement or protest but simply asserted themselves in their educational spaces and resisted against the structures that labeled them as incapable because of their disability, race, gender, and class. The work advocated for educators to approach teaching and interacting with their students in an intersectional manner, that is to recognize the backgrounds of students. I will use the source to demonstrate another part of life that these structures influence and create restrictions as well as how the intersectional approach can be applied to these various situations.

10. Terriquez, Veronica, et al. “Intersectionality as a Multipurpose Collective Action Frame: The Case of the Undocumented Youth Movement.” Ethnicities, vol. 18, no. 2, 2018, pp. 260–276.,

This article, written by Veronica Terriquez of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Sociology department described how the LGBTQ youth of the undocumented movement became leaders and helped their community by using their experiences as both LGBTQ and undocumented to shape the movement to be intersectional. The article also discusses how these young activists face exclusion and/or a lack of understanding from both undocumented and LGBTQ spaces because of their different identities. This has allowed them to create their own spaces that include various other marginalized groups and strengthened the power of these organizations as solidarity builds between individuals of different backgrounds. This source will allow me to discuss how the various structures these individuals live through create a unique struggle that cannot be addressed by viewing the issues individually. It will also give an example as to the benefits of intersectionality and how an individual can use their experiences to help others.