Dear youth ministry friends,
The concept of intersectionality—first coined by Dr. Kimberlé W. Crenshaw—is an approach that has, in my mind, a great deal to say to those in youth ministry. Many folks experience prejudice and discrimination because of a particular identity they hold; Crenshaw, and those who followed her in the field, have taken the conversation further, and asked, “But what about those who hold two or more identities that cause them to experience discrimination?” For those who are (for example) Black and queer, or Asian and women, or Latino/a and disabled… it is very good news indeed when such folks encounter communities who “get” them, and who embrace all of their intersectional identities, simply for whom God has created them to be.
This is doubly true for young people who, arguably more than any other subset of the population, hunger for belonging. It is this topic that we seek to explore in our upcoming webinar gathering, entitled, “Developing Your Praxis for Building Diverse Youth Communities.” On Wednesday, February 7th, at 12pm, Dr. Brian Ragsdale (a clinical psychologist with experience in the youth ministry realm) will talk about intersectionality, and about how the gift of multiple identities can manifest in the Church.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make youth feel more at home in your community, and even in their own skin, please join us! We’ll look forward to seeing you then! And: if your youth group does an incredible job of this: that’s amazing! If you have the time, I would love to have you join us too, so that we can hear your voice in the conversation, and learn from you as we endeavor to care for our young people more effectively.
Hope to see you all soon! In the meantime, dear ones, I wish you every blessing in your continued ministries. What you’re doing matters so much… and who you are matters even more. Blessings to you in this season.
With you on the journey,