About IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All
IntersectionAllies is a tool for beginning important conversations about difference, activism, empathy, safety and inclusion. Coming JULY 2019 from Dottir Press. PRE-ORDER TODAY!
“I’m delighted that IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All will pass the torch to the next generation of youth activists.”
―DR. KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW, African American Policy Forum Co-Founder and Director of the Columbia Law School Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies
“This wonderful book addresses major social justice issues of our time in an accessible manner. The authors celebrate diversity and illustrate the advantages of attending to intersectionality. By “making room,” the children in this book create space in which each individual’s uniqueness can shine, brightening everyone’s lives.”
―DR. LAUREL WESTBROOK, Associate Professor of Sociology and co-founder of Sociologists for Trans Justice
“In choosing to introduce solidarity and intersectionality to children, the authors have opened up ideas about how we all might ‘make room’ for people and groups who are not like us.”
―DR. ANGE-MARIE HANCOCK ALFARO, Professor of Political Science and Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Southern California, and author of Intersectionality: An Intellectual History
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All uses CLC Collective’s expertise in race, immigration and gender studies to illustrate feminist perspectives on social justice for tomorrow’s leaders. The book's nine vignettes demonstrate how children's safety concerns are shaped by their intersecting social positions (or identities), like gender, class, ability, race, religion, culture, citizenship, and more. This insight is known in feminist academic and activist circles as "intersectionality," a term coined by critical race theorist Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw in her legal scholarship about Black women and their encounters with the justice system.
The book features an introduction by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor at the University of Southern California- Los Angeles School of Law and founder of the African American Policy Forum. IntersectionAllies also includes an opening “Letter to Grown-Ups” by Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, Chair of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Southern California and author of Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (2015) and Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics (2011).
To be an effective ally, children need to develop the ability to understand their friends’ personal experiences in cultural, political, and historical context. Moving beyond tolerance towards the values of empathy and compassion, IntersectionAllies acknowledges that kids lives are not all the same, nor do they need to be. The characters in the book suggest ways that friends can use their abilities to support one another despite different positions in life—a lesson about activism that parents can learn as they read along with their children.
This book is perfect for:
Kids in diverse schools, cities, churches, and other settings who would benefit from having a basic understanding of the lives of their friends and other people around them, along with ways they’re similar and different
Kids who ask a lot of questions about the news they overhear on TV and the radio—and parents who are stumped for answers
Parents, educators, and practitioners who are searching for ways to connect world events and injustices to children’s lives
Anyone hoping to help raise thoughtful, caring, educated allies and world citizens—and anyone hoping to become this themselves, too.
There aren’t many heroines, let alone heroines of color, in our media today. IntersectionAllies disrupts the status quo through the stories of nine children from diverse backgrounds. Each character was collaboratively shaped and revised alongside members of the communities represented in the book to ensure that every story is nuanced, responsible, respectful, and rings true. We use the first-person perspective in alignment with feminist standpoint theory as a way to honor the validity of knowledge produced through girls’, and queer children’s lived-experiences.
Through colorful rhyming stanzas, the characters explains their unique concerns about safety. For example, safety for an African American child in the context of anti-black racism requires a different form of allyship than defending a Muslim girl living at the intersection of Islamophobia, xenophobia and sexism. Likewise, bathroom safety for a genderqueer child looks different than for a child of immigrants, whose citizenship status protects her mother while street-vending to make ends meet.
IntersectionAllies helps kids think about which differences make a difference— an important lesson in critical thinking.
Teaching new ideas to children works best when caretakers are given tools that help them begin difficult conversations. As current events make clear, intersectionality is too often an empty qualifier in feminist praxis. Even adults with activist experience can benefit from a course on Intersectionality 101. IntersectionAllies is here to help. The book is both a fun read for kids and a resource for adults who may struggle to break down what it means to be an ally to a friend from a different background.
IntersectionAllies ends with a page-by-page discussion guide to give your family and/or classroom a deeper understanding of the concepts represented in the book. IntersectionAllies guides readers towards recognizing the complexity of their own identities— a first step to helping kids notice the interlocking social structures (like governments, schools, courts, religions, and families) that shape what those identities mean. The characters in IntersectionAllies help each other navigate these systems, demonstrating how children might begin to transform their communities for the better through activism and allyship.
If you’d like to learn even more about the activists, feminists, sociologists, and historians that inspired the book, feel free to review IntersectionAllies’ citation information here. Happy reading!