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Happy Pride from the Schparkly Team - How we can all be better humans through understanding and engaging with the concept of intersectionality.

Pride can mean so many things to different people, but to me, at the heart of Pride is intersectionality. Many folks celebrating Pride like myself come from an intersectional background so it's important to start by defining intersectionality.

Intersectionality is the the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. In simpler terms, this is how intersecting identities experience multiple forms of discrimination based on being a part of multiple marginalized groups.

The concept helps us understand the complex experiences of others in a more meaningful way, and as a result to take action in dismantling the oppressive systems that have led to discrimination. It helps us be better humans!

Now that I've laid out the concept of intersectionality, what can you do to take action to be a better human?

First thing's first: checking your privilege. You may have heard this term before but what does it really mean? All it means is considering the different forms of privilege you may benefit from so you can take up the right space in the conversation. The more privilege a person has, the more important it is for them to make space for others who have had more challenges to speak. Making space for others is always a kind thing to do!

Speaking of making space for others, actively listening to the voices of marginalized people will not only help a person to understand someone else's experience, but to gain greater empathy. Remember that this can take a lot of emotional labour from marginalized people so it's always best to do your own research so you can engage in the conversation as a more active listener.

If just one person listened and gained greater empathy for the experience of a marginalized person, imagine if a whole room of people did!

Make space for people to share their stories and amplify their voices whether that's through social media or even just engaging in meaningful face-to-face conversation.

Last but certainly not least: use conscious language. So many of us assume that our daily language couldn't be hurtful, but there are so many examples of words that we commonly used even just five or ten years ago that would be considered offensive now. Moving the language forward and listening to what kind of language marginalized people feel comfortable with is the way to go.

We all have the ability to be better people. It isn't always easy, but we can always try.

Pride started as a protest, and honouring that means taking action to be good to each other.

Happy Pride from Shereen and us here at Schparkly!



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