School of Social Work Faculty Publications


Teaching Intersectionality: Transforming Cultural Competence Content in Social Work Education

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Intersectionality has been gaining momentum among social workers as a framework to allow a fuller understanding of the complexity of diverse social identities and the impact of social structures on power, privilege, and oppression. However, the application of intersectionality to teaching in social work education has been relatively absent in the literature. This article describes a 3-hour graduate-level classroom exercise designed to increase knowledge and proficiency of intersectionality. Critical self-reflections of the participants’ experiences are provided to illustrate the evolving growth and awareness that can result from the educational process using this framework. Examples and suggestions for reading assignments and classroom activities are offered. Implications for social work education and future directions are discussed.


Teaching Note.