March 3, 2022

Identity & Intersectionality

By Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative®


We are more than the sum of our parts.

We have an identity crisis in aging services. It’s not about re-branding or finding ourselves. It’s about how willing we are to really see each other and all of the parts that make us who we are.

Why bother? Person-directed care begins and ends with the quality of our relationships. And building stronger caring relationships means understanding and honoring the unique identity of every individual we support – their challenges, their strengths, their stories… and the “intersection” between them.

The term “intersectionality” refers to how the parts of our identity interact, combine, and overlap, including race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Understanding intersectionality empowers us to step boldly into our pledge to know each person well – our elder, employee, and family care partners alike. Check out my conversation with ageism activists, Kyrié Carpenter and Ryan Backer, below, as we explore why intersectionality should matter to YOU.

Carpenter and Backer also serve as the faculty of a new, free eVOLVE Online Learning course, Identity & Intersectionality: More Than the Sum of Our Parts. A self-guided learning journey, the course brings Carpenter and Backer together with Brian Van Buren, Ayana King, and Jill Vitale-Aussem, who – through their own stories – reveal the impacts of inequity and unconscious bias in aging services, how to create a more inclusive workforce, and how you can make a difference.

Learn more about our new, free online course, Identity & Intersectionality: More Than the Sum of Our Parts.