As a twenty-something woman who believes every single person deserves the same rights, opportunities and freedoms—regardless of their gender identity—I’m a feminist. But in the midst of the current worldwide reckoning with racism and police brutality, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I’m using my privilege as a white woman to ensure that my feminism is inclusive and intersectional. (Coined in 1989 by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectional feminism is the understanding of how women's overlapping identities—including race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation—impact the way they experience oppression and discrimination.)
So when I got the opportunity to connect with writer and diversity consultant Mikki Kendall, I jumped at the chance. Kendall’s work centers on intersectionality, policing, gender, sexual assault and more. Her most recent book, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That the Movement Forgot, is about how the focus of much of modern feminism is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. If that description hits a little too close to home, read on for four ways she says white feminists can better support women of color now and moving forward.