As an individual, one's race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexuality, ability, or age cannot be separated from other aspects of their identity. The term used to describe this compounding effect of discrimination is called "Intersectionality". Black legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term "intersectionality", not an abstract notion but as a description of the way multiple oppressions are experienced. Intersectionality helps us to understand and explain how an individual's intersecting identities shape their life experience. Developing a broader understanding and public awareness of intersectionality can serve multiple purposes. In the development of public policy, an understanding of how an individual's experience of multiple discriminations might affect their ability to benefit from policy, will ultimately result in more equitable policies and programs. City Council has a duty to build a more equitable City for all of Toronto's residents. Raising public awareness about intersectionality can also serve the purpose of building a more inclusive and accepting culture for everyone in our City. In essence, we need to better understand the needs of residents to improve the delivery of City services. It is befitting that the most diverse City in the world also leads the global discussion to promote greater human rights and social inclusion with the creation of an Intersectionality Awareness Week.
Beginning in 2018, let's raise awareness about Intersectionality by establishing Intersectionality Awareness Week in the City of Toronto. Show your support by adding your name below. You can also view the motion here.