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Day 3: Intersectionality

Thank you for taking this challenge! If this is your first day of joining us for the 14-Day Equity Challenge, welcome. If you are returning after previous engagement with the challenge, nice work! We are glad you are here.

This challenge is designed to push you out of your comfort zone, think critically about difficult topics, and grow in your understanding of the ways people and systems perpetuate (and have the power to eliminate) racism. We’re excited to invite you to this opportunity to dive deeper into racial equity and social justice.

View other challenges: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14

Day 3: Intersectionality

If a stranger were to ask you to describe yourself, what would you say? Maybe you would talk about your curly hair or your green eyes. Maybe you would bring up the clubs you’re in or the religion you follow. You might even talk about your favorite parts of your personality, like how creative, outgoing, kind, or intelligent you are. Identity is important, and we can rarely define ourselves by just one part of it.

Intersectionality refers to how different social identities—such as race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality—can overlap to create independent forms of oppression and privilege.

For example, some privileged identities include male, cisgender, White, middle-upper class, heterosexual, Christian, neurotypical, citizen, and typically abled. Some oppressed identities include female, transgender, non-White, working class, queer, non-Christian, neurodivergent, non-citizen, and disabled. While a black woman and a black man may both face racial discrimination in the workplace, the black woman may experience a different set of challenges due to additional gender discrimination.

Today’s challenge will give you the opportunity to learn more about how our identities interact and what this means for people sitting at the intersection of multiple oppressed identities.

If you have…

Read this article
 and reflect on how your social identities impact you

Hear Kimberlé Crenshaw
explain intersectionality

Watch this video
on creating more inclusive movements


Once you have completed today’s challenge, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect.

  • How did the challenge make you feel?
  • What is something you learned?
  • Did you notice anything about yourself after taking the challenge?
  • Consider sharing this new awareness with a friend or group to help deepen your understanding of the information.

Share your thoughts on the challenge online using #YWCAEquityChallenge