About The Book
“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 is a tool for beginning important conversations with children about difference, activism, empathy, safety and inclusion.
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All uses the 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 Spring 2019 from Dottir Press.
To be an effective ally, children need to develop the ability to see their friends’ needs through an intersectional lens. The characters in IntersectionAllies suggest ways that friends can support one another despite different positions in life—a lesson that parents can learn as they read along with their children. Moving beyond ideas of tolerance towards the values of empathy and compassion, IntersectionAllies endeavors to inspire the next generation to actively advocate for justice and equality in their communities.
Throughout IntersectionAllies, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ends with a page-by-page discussion guide to help your family 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, feel free to review the citation information for the scholarly studies we used to form IntersectionAllies character narratives here.