Methodist Official Says Intersectionality Is Important to Combating Abuse & Supporting #MeToo

An official with a regional body of the United Methodist Church has stressed the importance of the concept of intersectionality in leading her to combat abuse.

Merriam-Webster describes “intersectionality” as referring to “the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.”

Jurrita Williams, associate director of the UMC North Texas Conference’s Center for Missional Outreach, explained in a recent episode of the Dallas Theological Seminary podcast “The Table” that she first became interested in combating abuse through “intersectionality.”

“I’m a woman, been a woman all my life, and the abuses that, particularly, black women have suffered because of the historical abuse and dehumanization of black women as enslaved people, caught my attention as the Me Too movement moved,” explained Williams.

“Tarana Burke, who is a black woman, an African-American woman who started the movement or coined the term ‘me too’ with what is now seen as the hashtag, was erased from the conversation initially.”

Williams believes intersectionality “speaks to how black women have a unique way of being discriminated against” and sought to train pastors, with an emphasis on pastors for historically African-American churches, to better stop abuse.

“Educating our pastors in the black community has been a hard fought thing to do because if we think about privilege, white privilege, black men didn’t have that in the overall majority culture, and so what we have to address is the same systems that oppressed white women is the same system that oppressed black men, and then you go to the deeper level of black women,” continued Williams.

“I think understanding and training pastors from the perspective of race and gender and sexism, and we can also speak to ability, and sexuality, and classism because all of those things intersect and combine to continue to keep black women subordinated.”

Hosted by DTS New Testament Professor Darrell Bock, in addition to Williams, the episode also featured Jan Edgar Langbein, CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter, and Joy Pedrow, a DTS student who oversees a women’s ministry.

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Source: Christian Post