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Bad Feminist: Book Discussion Series

Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist - March 2018 Library Book Discussion, sponsored by ISU Library's Committee on Diversity & Inclusion

About Kimberlé Crenshaw

"Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (born 1959) is an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory. She is a full-time professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, where she specializes in race and gender issues."

"Crenshaw is known for the introduction and development of intersectional theory, the study of how overlapping or intersecting social identities, particularly minority identities, relate to systems and structures of oppression, domination, or discrimination.  Her work further expands to also include intersectional feminism which is a sub-category related to intersectional theory. Intersection feminism examines the overlapping systems of oppression and discrimination that women are subject to due to their ethnicity, sexuality and economic background."



Intersectionality:  Definition & Readings



  1. the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.


Classic Readings on Intersectionality

Mosaic of Diversity

Diversity Mosaic: Wheel model from Johns Hopkins University
Diversity Wheel Model, from Johns Hopkins Univ.

The "Diversity Mosaic" circle or wheel model
is a popular and simple tool for exploring
one's own dimensions, or the many facets
that comprise our own individual identities.

This version of the Diversity Mosaic model
comes from the Diversity Leadership Council
at Johns Hopkins University.

Recently, many Library staff were introduced
to this model during a 2-day workshop on
Cultural Competence, led by DeEtta Jones 
of DJA Consulting.

Most presentations of the Diversity Wheel 
explain that the inner core represents permanent,
visible, and/or innate constants. The outer ring
represents dimensions that can be developed,
changed, or adapted over time.

This model may also help illuminate the concept
of intersectionality.

If you were to fill out your wheel, what would 
it look like? What dimensions do you share 
with others, or not share? How does it make you 
feel when you discover others who share some
of the same dimensions you have? Have you
experienced discrimination or oppression
related to any of your dimensions? What about
your co-workers? Do you think they might
experience discrimination or oppression
related to their dimensions? How can we be 
allies for one another?