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Understanding Intersectionality: An Update from Board of Governors Diversity Pillar

May 25, 2021 12:57 PM | Anonymous

by Cherisse Berry, MD, FACS, Governor, American College of Surgeons, Manhattan Council, Board of Governors Diversity Pillar

Intersectionality: the intersection and interconnectedness of identities such as race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability. It is a term coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, JD, a University of California, Los Angeles, law professor who published, "Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics" in the University of Chicago Legal Forum. Discussing three legal cases involving the co-existing issues of racial discrimination and sex discrimination, Dr. Crenshaw introduced the concept of intersectionality: a problematic consequence of the tendency to treat race and gender as mutually exclusive categories of experience and analysis. For example, Black women are both Black and female and thus subject to discrimination on the basis of race, gender and possibly a combination of the two.

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