Program Manager with the Children’s Team, Futures Without Violence
Wendy Mota, M.S. is a program manager with the Children’s Team at Futures Without Violence, Boston office. As part of her experience at Futures, she provides practice coaching and technical assistance to professionals & programs across the nation regarding child welfare and domestic violence. In addition to her work at Futures, Wendy has provided consultation services to nonprofit and social services organizations.
Additional experiences and positions for Ms. Mota, include positions such as director of diversity and accessibility for a domestic violence state coalition, as a domestic violence advocate and as a social worker for state government.
Her areas of expertise include; listening, managing programs for survivors from diverse communities, increasing capacity for culture specific organizations, project coordination, training and curriculum development, mentoring, and developing partnerships and collaborations.
Wendy has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Services from the University of Massachusetts, and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University. When Wendy is not working, you can find her singing all things rancheras- Karaoke, dancing bachata, practicing yoga, napping, meditating, playing with her toddler beffie Rio, reading and beach living.
Identidad e Intersecciones: Identity and Intersectionality
“Intersectionality is not primarily about identity, it is about how structures make certain identities the consequence of the vehicle for vulnerability… So if you want to know how many intersections matter, you have to look at the context. What is happening? What kind of discrimination is going on? What are the policies? What are the institutional structures that play a role in contributing to the exclusion of some people and not others…?” – Kimberlé Crenshaw
The term intersectionality was coined over three decades ago by scholar, black feminist, writer and professor, Kimberlé Crenshaw. Personally, it is not the meaning behind the concept that I appreciate the most about this term…. My favorite thing about this term, is that it was created by a black woman, about black women.
When she introduced the term, Ms. Crenshaw was referencing how black women were being excluded, oppressed and otherwise negatively impacted by racists systems such as the judicial institutions in our country.
Ironically, many institutions and systems within our country still feel this way for many women who are non-English speaking, undocumented, poor, black, brown, indigenous, Latina, or nonwhite.
In fact, it sometimes feels impossible to unapologetically love yourself, when society, systems and the media are promoting hatred in practices and policies on an ongoing basis.
Both of the pieces I have selected touch upon identity. The first piece is one of my favorite poems, in Spanish with English subtitles, called; “Rotundamente Negra (Rotundly Black)” by Shirley Campbell. This poem for me is a loving affirmation and overt reminder that black identity and physicality is dope and so beautiful, regardless of the messages that say otherwise.
The second selection is the; “Women of the World (WOW) Festival, 2016 Keynote Address by Kimberlé Crenshaw. This keynote address reminds us that identities are never the challenge. The problem lays within the structures and systems that weren’t created to serve certain identities and communities.
Wendy Mota’s Discussion Questions (PDF for Print)
- What was your initial reaction to the poem “Rotundamente Negra (Rotundly Black)” by Shirley Campbell?
- Describe 3 highlights or learned concepts from the “Women of the World (WOW) Festival, 2016 Keynote Address by Kimberlé Crenshaw?
- How would you describe the connection between identity, intersectionality and structural & systemic racism?
- What is one action you can take (and with whom) in the next 3 months to promote and support black and brown identity for black and brown girls in your immediate community?
- What is one action you can take (and how) to challenge systemic racism within your home state?