In honor of Black History Month, this month we will be featuring blog posts from some of our educators who discuss topics like race, intersectionality, and language and how it intertwines with sexual violence prevention. [Blog 6 out of 6.]
INTERSECTIONALITY IS A MUST
By Michael Turrentine
I have found that being a black educator speaking on the subjects of Social Justice and Sexual Assault prevention is extremely helpful in my classrooms. Especially to those students that feel they have things in common with me. Not to mention being a queer man of color, I find sometimes just stepping into the room and starting the conversation ears perk up and suddenly folks are hearing these things in a different way seemingly for the first time.
I especially find it wonderful and important when I bring up intersectionality in the rooms, an aspect of the conversation that a lot of folks actually don’t talk about or consider at the forefront when talking about sexual assault prevention. I feel when I, as a person of color, bring up these facts a lot of people visibly lean in and are drawn to the conversation in a way that they weren’t before.
The truth is race and identity is a huge part of this conversation and there are many folks that feel that they are not being heard or included based on those things. I have had several people of many different backgrounds (African-American, Queer, Trans, Non-Binary, etc…) time and time again come up to me after programming thanking me for including them in this very important conversation. This is not just something that should be done. It’s a requirement. It’s something that is mandatory.