Intersections Ambassadors

Student Educators

Intersections Ambassadors are student educators who are passionate about social justice. They develop and deliver intersectional social justice workshops and co-curricular presentations for departments and student groups to foster the creation of a more just, equitable, and aware campus community.

Workshops and Presenters

This is a two part workshop appropriate for both faculty and staff. In the first half, students will review highlights from the 2015 Campus Climate Survey and discuss their experiences of moving through Grand Valley as diverse individuals. They will describe barriers to student learning that they have observed both inside and outside the classroom.

The second half of the presentation will feature a panel discussion in which attendees will have an opportunity to ask follow up questions. The panel will include a deeper dive into student experiences at GV and the specific things that make students feel more included and welcome on campus.

This event will raise awareness about the ways our students are experiencing inequity in and outside of the classroom and provide faculty and staff with a greater understanding of what we can all do to support student learning and retention.

We hear a lot of talk about intersectionality, but how many people understand the concept of intersectionality and how it functions? In this interactive presentation, participants will learn what we really mean when we talk about intersectionality. Presenters will explore the history of this important concept and how it emerged from the tradition of Black feminist thought, highlighting key moments in its development. Participants will then discuss the importance of using an intersectional lens for understanding how systems of power, privilege, and oppression work and explore why it pertains to college campuses.

This presentation will cover both race and ethnicity and how it plays a role in intersectional leadership. We will be including foundational theories from both Kimberle Crenshaw’s essay Mapping the Margins, and Patricia Hill Collins’ book Black Feminist Thought.  Attendees can expect to learn the foundations of intersectionality, as well as how to use and apply the term within the correct contexts. Participants will also learn about the effects of racial oppression within academic communities, and the steps that can be taken to develop actively inclusive spaces as leaders.

This presentation will focus on the experiences of queer women in their religious community, specifically focusing on Christianity. Through personal dialogue and academic resources, this presentation will outline some of the common experiences of queer-identifying religious people. These individuals often face unique challenges when taking on leadership positions in their religious communities. Sexuality and religion are both important aspects of one’s identity, but are often conflicting. Attendees will discuss the obstacles that queer people face within their religious communities and actions that can be taken to be more inclusive of these individuals as leaders.

The university setting should promote inclusion of those with disabilities, their skills as leaders in the community, and space for self-advocacy. However, people in universities often reproduce stigma instead. This presentation covers how the unique intersections between disability and other marginalized identities can help us understand experiences of stigma in the university setting. We will suggest effective strategies for combating stigma and promoting self-advocacy and leadership skills for people with disabilities. Participants will leave this presentation with a working understanding of how to empower people with disabilities to use their leadership skills.


Intersections Ambassadors are supported by Marla Wick, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center, and Jae Basilière, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Page last modified February 18, 2019