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Race, Gender and Invisibility: Why Intersectionality Matters

Kimberlé Crenshaw

How do attitudes to race and gender overlap to entrench injustice? Pioneer of intersectionality Kimberlé Crenshaw shows us a way of bringing hidden and neglected forms of discrimination to light to build a fairer society.

Instructor
  • kimberle crenshaw
    Kimberlé Crenshaw

    Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, Kimberlé Crenshaw is a leading scholar of critical race theory and the pioneer of intersectionality.

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About the Course

 

Why is it that many more know the name ‘Eric Garner’ than ‘Michelle Cusseaux’? Both were killed in instances of police brutality – yet only one name really persists in public awareness. Though issues of race and gender are in the limelight like never before, black women are still much less visible.

Intersectionality was born from the need to address the invisibility of black women, but has grown to include other neglected groups whose race, class, gender, sexuality or disability makes them vulnerable to overlapping forms of discrimination. Despite the increasing popularity of the approach, there are still groups left unseen or unsupported by legal systems, social justice campaigns and in media discourse.

In this course, civil rights activist and Professor of Law Kimberlé Crenshaw takes on her critics and argues for the urgent need for an intersectional approach to social justice. She demonstrates how intersectionality can have an important, positive impact at both the personal and societal level.

By the end of the course, you will have learned:

  • What intersectionality is
  • How to think about intersectional frameworks
  • How a lack of intersectional representation can have devastating legal and political results
  • The role historical narratives have in shaping our views of social issues
  • How intersectionality can benefit current social activism movements

 

As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, discussion boards to have your say and an end-of-course assessment.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

 

About the Instructor

  • Kimberlé Crenshaw

    Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, Kimberlé Crenshaw is a leading scholar of critical race theory and the pioneer of intersectionality. She co-founded the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and has, in recent years, campaigned to open up the My Brother’s Keeper social program to young black girls as well as boys. Her books include On Intersectionality: Essential Writings and Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.

Course Syllabus

  • Part 1: Why Intersectionality Matters
    Professor Crenshaw introduces intersectionality and confronts its critics. Crenshaw outlines Emma Degraffenreid's discrimination case against General Motors as an example of the need for intersectional thinking.
  • Part 2: Intersectional Failure
    Professor Crenshaw considers examples of intersectional failure in the politics, law and history of the USA. She criticises President Obama's flagship racial justice campaign and considers the media response to police bruality against black women.