Intersectionality and social justice: assessing activists’ use of intersectionality through grassroots migrants’ organizations in Canada

Tungohan, E. (2016)
Politics, Groups, and Identities, Volume 4(3), 347-362 | doi:10.1080/21565503.2015.1064006.

Is intersectionality relevant to activism? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the principles of intersectionality in activist campaigns? This paper answers these questions by critically appraising the work of Migrante-Canada and Gabriela-Ontario, two grassroots migrants’ organizations in Canada. Not only do Migrante-Canada and Gabriela-Ontario represent their members’ diverse and intersecting social locations, they also oppose the effects of interlocking power structures that exacerbate their members’ experiences of oppression. Ultimately, these case studies show that intersectionality provides activist organizations with a normative framework and guidelines for action and is best advanced through the use of a multi-pronged advocacy approach that engages multiple stakeholders, promotes strategically shifting portrayals of its members, and takes place in multiple scales.