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  • Writer's pictureEngaging Across Difference

National Day of Silence

As educators, Kim and I are both participating in GLSEN's Day of Silence which is a "student-led national event where folks take a vow of silence to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school." Although we have centered our community work on race, we would also like to take a moment to highlight this day as it is important to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our workshops and presentations are focused on race as it has been the most prevalent and talked about area that we all need to work on. Gaining more cultural competence is a journey, and one that has no end. We are ALL on the journey to learning and understanding more, but our tagline: "Hand me your bias, and I'll show you our connection" is about more than just race. We all have bias about many things--racial groups, religions, professions, women, nationalities, etc.

As members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we experience "other-ness" that is not just connected to our race. Whereas to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community is to be marginalized in some way, the fact that we are both black and lesbian means something different. The intersectionality of race and sexual orientation is something to be explored. Kimberlé Crenshaw first coined the term "intersectionality" in 1989. To learn more about intersectionality and how it might affect you, visit Columbia Law School's page.

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