The term and notion of ‘human rights’ is familiar, but it can often be dismissed as too lofty or too passive. In practice, underneath the banner of ‘human rights’ resides a host of urgent, distinct yet intersected issues requiring attention and care.

This is true everywhere, and especially in Bermuda, where our history and culture was born out of the systems of colonialization and racial oppression (including slavery and segregation) that we are still dismantling today.

INTERSECTIONALITY is a vital concept to help address the experience of discrimination and marginalisation in all its forms.

Each person is impacted differently by issues of rights and access, and the consideration of how and why certain identities are impacted differently helps to ensure we address the root of the problem and not just its impact.

An intersectional approach takes into account historical, social and political contexts and recognizes the unique experience of the individual based on the intersection of all relevant grounds.

This approach allows the particular experience of discrimination, based on the confluence of grounds involved, to be acknowledged and addressed.

Kimberlé Crenshaw is an American civil rights advocate, and is known for the introduction and development of intersectional theory, as she describes it: ‘the study of how overlapping or intersecting social identities, particularly minority identities, relate to systems and structures of oppression, domination, or discrimination.’ Her 2016 TED talk provides a valuable introduction to the concept in practice: