DIY/DEI: Understanding intersectionality

DIY/DEI: Trusted resources to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion topics that matter to NC State

DIY/DEI: Understanding intersectionality
Advocates and allies are essential to promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in higher education and beyond. For many, there is a new awareness of issues associated with DEI and a growing desire to learn and engage. To support your efforts, the NC State University Libraries and the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity have created a curated list of resources to inform your inquiry, introspection, and engagement with this topic. Engaging with these resources will provide you with an opportunity to explore DEI and develop your narrative and understanding.

This month's featured topic: Understanding intersectionality
This issue of DIY/DEI features a selection of resources about intersectionality—a concept that helps us understand how systemic oppressions affect people who embody multiple marginalized identities. Intersectionality was introduced by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 as a means of giving narrative to the lived experiences of the compounded factors of race and gender, specifically in relation to Black women. Crenshaw described intersectionality as “a metaphor for understanding the ways that multiple forms of inequity or disadvantage sometimes compound themselves…they create obstacles that often are not understood within conventional ways of thinking about antiracism or feminism or whatever social advocacy structures we have.” The impact of intersectionality may be traced in systems such as education, law, housing, career advancement, law enforcement, religion, and business. The videos listed in this issue provide a good entry point into the topic of intersectionality and serve as an introduction into the other resources provided here.

This list was curated by Stephanie Helms Pickett and Silvia Sheffield.

Past DIY/DEI resource lists on antiracism, the Black collegiate experience, and fostering inclusion and belonging can be found here. To suggest a future topic for an edition of DIY/DEI, please send your topic idea to


Introducing intersectionalityIntroducing intersectionality, Mary Romero, 2018. Ebook.
"A short overview of scholarly and activist tradition in the development of intersectionality and how to apply intersectionality as a lens to enrich our understandings of social life."


IntersectionalityIntersectionality, Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge, 2016. Ebook.
"Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge provide a much-needed introduction to the field of intersectional knowledge and praxis. They analyze the emergence, growth and contours of the concept and show how intersectional frameworks speak to topics as diverse as human rights, neoliberalism, identity politics, immigration, hip hop, global social protest, diversity, digital media, Black feminism in Brazil, violence and World Cup soccer."

Enacting intersectionality in student affairsEnacting intersectionality in student affairs, Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, 2017. Ebook.
"This collection demonstrates how intersectionality informs and enhances student affairs practice in the areas of student identity theory, programming, research, coalition building, residential life, service-learning, international student services, and strategic planning."

The intersectional approach: transforming the academy through race, class, and genderThe intersectional approach: transforming the academy through race, class, and gender, Michele Tracy Berger & Kathleen Guidroz, 2009. Ebook.
"In eighteen essays, contributors examine various topics of interest to students and researchers from a feminist perspective as well as through their respective disciplines, looking specifically at gender inequalities related to globalization, health, motherhood, sexuality, body image, and aging."


Intersectionality as Critical Social TheoryIntersectionality as Critical Social Theory, Patricia Hill Collins, 2019. Ebook.
“Patricia Hill Collins offers a set of analytical tools for those wishing to develop intersectionality's capability to theorize social inequality in ways that would facilitate social change.”


Intersectionality: An Intellectual HistoryIntersectionality: An Intellectual History, Ange-Maria Hancock, 2016. Ebook.
“Intersectionality theory has emerged over the past thirty years as a way to think about the avenues by which inequalities are produced. Intersectionality considers the logic by which demographic categories are socially constructed as well as how they operate within the diffusion of power relations.”



"Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics"
University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989
Kimberlé Crenshaw

"Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color"
Stanford Law Review, 1991
Kimberlé Crenshaw

"Re-thinking Intersectionality"
Feminist Review, 2008
Jennifer C. Nash

"The Intersectionality Wars"
Vox, 2019
Jane Coaston



Kimberlé Crenshaw: What is Intersectionality?Kimberlé Crenshaw: What is Intersectionality? (1:54)
"Kimberlé Crenshaw, a civil rights advocate and professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, talks about intersectional theory, the study of how overlapping or intersecting social identities—and particularly minority identities—relate to systems and structures of discrimination."

TEDTalks: Kimberlé Crenshaw: The Urgency of IntersectionalityTEDTalks: Kimberlé Crenshaw: The Urgency of Intersectionality (18:50)
"Now more than ever, it's important to look boldly at the reality of race and gender bias -- and understand how the two can combine to create even more harm. Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the term 'intersectionality' to describe this phenomenon; as she says, if you're standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you're likely to get hit by both."

Keri Gray: Intersectionality & DisabilityKeri Gray: Intersectionality & Disability (2:11)
"Keri Gray illustrates how the framework of intersectionality is essential to true inclusion."



Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé CrenshawIntersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
Intersectionality Matters! Is a podcast hosted by Kimberlé  Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.


Fo’ Yo’ Soul Podcast from the African American Cultural Center at NC State  Episode 6: Hey Girl, Hey!Fo’ Yo’ Soul Podcast from the African American Cultural Center at NC State 
Episode 6: Hey Girl, Hey! (49:00)
"Hey Girl, Hey! is a conversation about navigating collegiate life at a PWMI (Predominately White Male Institution) when you don't match the gender or racial identity. We use Kimberlé Crenshaw's term and framework Intersectionality to talk about Crenshaw's original demographic Black Women. We explore from academics, social life to home life what it means to be a Black Woman in totality in higher education."