IntersectionALLIES:
Introducing the first children's book about intersectionality.
IntersectionAllies Cover.jpg

The Book

About the book

IntersectionAllies is a tool for beginning important conversations about difference, activism, empathy, safety and inclusion.

“I’m delighted that IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All will pass the torch to the next generation of youth activists.” -Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, from the foreword

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 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).

Coming JULY 2019 from Dottir Press. PRE-ORDER TODAY!

ILLUSTRATED BY ASHLEY SEIL SMITH

ILLUSTRATED BY ASHLEY SEIL SMITH

Activist

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 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.

ILLUSTRATED BY ASHLEY SEIL SMITH

ILLUSTRATED BY ASHLEY SEIL SMITH

Representative

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.

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, safety for a genderqueer child may be pursued through different means than for a child of immigrants, whose citizenship status protects her mother while street-vending to make ends meet.

We use the first-person perspective in alignment with feminist standpoint theory as a way to honor the validity of knowledge produced through women’s, girls’, and queer people’s lived-experiences. 

ILLUSTRATED BY ASHLEY SEIL SMITH

ILLUSTRATED BY ASHLEY SEIL SMITH

Research-based

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.

Teaching new ideas to children works best when caretakers are given tools that help them begin difficult conversations. IntersectionAllies ends with a page-by-page discussion guide to help your family and/or classroom gain a deeper understanding of the concepts represented in the stories. 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. 

If you’d like to learn even more about the ideas that inspired the book, feel free to review the citation information for the scholarly studies we used to form IntersectionAllies character narratives here.