Intersectional Organizing and Educational Justice Movements: Strategies for Cross-Movement Solidarities
This article explores intersectional organizing as a strategy to create solidarity across issues, organizations and communities to build a more united educational justice movement. By intersectional organizing, we mean an organizing strategy that centers the experiences and leadership of people who are affected by multiple forms of oppression. We conducted interviews with ten community organizers who engage parents and young people of color to address the profound inequities in public education. We found that the movement is largely siloed into separate issue-based campaigns, although there are promising examples that connect groups and issues. Organizers believe that intersectional organizing can support greater cross-movement solidarity especially when combined with other processes, including building deep relationships, developing conscious leadership with shared understandings of systemic oppression through political education, and building trust through demonstrated long-term commitments to solidarity in practice. Nevertheless, many warn against an “Oppression Olympics” that creates competition rather than solidarity.