For all of the educators out there working to bring critical analysis of intersectionality, privilege, and social justice into the classroom, this page was/is created to support your work. This resources page is a living space growing and evolving over time to meet pedagogical needs.
The Lightning Bug Center for Intersectional Allies provides professional development and resources for educators, trainers, community organizations, and workplace settings. The Lightning Bus Center supports teaching for equity, inclusion and belonging, culturally-responsive curricula, and social justice. Training includes opportunities for developing skills and behavioral tool for acting as an intersectional ally across contexts.
The name of the Center originates in my home, the beautiful and rich culture of the Smokey Mountains. People from all over the world travel to witness Appalachian lightning bugs (fireflies) as they light up and blink in sync with each other. They are the only fireflies with the synchronous illumination, serving as a symbol of community, cooperative communication, and a unified force to protect the vulnerable. The Lightning Bug Center for Intersectional Allies adopted this mascot to keep the social justice mission of unity and community at the forefront of the work.
podcast on intersectional pedagogy
Dr. Tina Pippin, Professor at Agnes Scott College, hosts the Nothing Never Happens podcast and invited me to speak on my approach to intersectional critical inquiry and praxis in the classroom. I asked Dr. Desdamona Rios to join me for our conversation. In Part 1, we discussed the definition of intersectionality, how we came to this theory, how we apply this approach in the classroom, and student learning outcomes. Check out the conversation below (32 minutes):
In Part 2 (35 minutes), we talk about student and institutional resistance and challenges, along with concrete curricular and teaching suggestions for a culturally relevant pedagogy.
The Intersections Pubic Education Project was developed as a faculty-student collaboration to emphasize intersectionality theory as applied to real world social issues such as racism, privilege, marginalization of LGBT individuals, sexism, and more. This assignment requires students to create and carry out a public education project that raises awareness of an intersectional social issue or teaches about the concept of intersectionality and the matrix of oppression and privilege.
Pedagogical Information– learning goals, assignment instructions, information for your syllabus.Download
Teaching Handout– to teach students about the theory of intersectionality and the matrix of domination. Includes images and games to help students better understand such an abstract concept (final project by Angela MIller).Download
Syllabus– the Psychology of Gender, Race, and Sexuality course has an intersectional theory focus infused throughout.Download
Student Project Example
sample intersectionality teaching resources
infusing intersectionality: psychology of women
The resources below provide instructors with teaching tools for infusing intersectionality into a Psychology of Women course. In fact, the readings, videos, current events, could be used in a wide-range of courses with the goal of developing an intersectional focus. I developed these various resources when teaching an online undergraduate course using a 10-module structure. However, all of the materials could also be used in face-to-face courses.
The details related to this entire course and the use of the materials below can be found in the Case and Rios (2017) chapter within Intersectional Pedagogy: Complicating Identity and Social Justice.
teaching social psychology of social issues
The content below provides educators with ideas for incorporating current social issues and social justice into a Social Psychology course.
In this course, students and I apply social psychology research, theory, and concepts to a variety of social issues such as in-groups/out-groups, prejudice & discrimination, social movements, social policy, ally behavior to support social change, experiences of marginalization, privilege, intersections of identity, and social forces and barriers within social institutions.
LGBTQ teaching resources & public policy
Members of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) gathered teaching materials to create this resource.
In 2016, the Tennessee state legislature fully defunded the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion. That office funded LGBT programs and services, the Pride Center, and safe-sex education, as well as many other programs. UTK, my undergraduate alma mater, was where I first took courses making me more aware of sexism, racism, and anti-gay discrimination. As social scientists, it is our responsibility to bring science into the view of those creating public policy and legislation that harms marginalized populations. In collaboration with SPSSI, I contributed to the letter below sent to TN legislators and governor in support of returning funding to the UTK Office for Diversity and Inclusion. This letter may be helpful in illustrating to students how social science can be utilized to inform responsible public policy.
Due to SPSSI national efforts to promote science and inform public policy, I presented a congressional briefing in Washington, DC open to all of Congress and their staffers, as well as outside non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, social science associations, and government offices. The talk, Toward LGBTQ Non-discrimination and Inclusivity: What We Know and What We Need, brought current research to active policy makers at the federal level. For more information, the presentation slides, and the 2-page brief overview, see the link below.