April Monthly Meeting Blog

By Eshika Attri ’26

This past Wednesday, WLI co-sponsored the panel Intersectionality in Action, moderated by DEI graduate assistant Maddie DeMarco. The panel featured 3 SJU alumni who engaged in conversation about how they incorporate intersectionality and social justice issues within their careers. Liz Sweeney ‘22 talked about the importance intersectionality plays in her career in politics, stating how it allows her to understand why people have the perspective they do. The panelists defined intersectionality as how our different identities connect, Rae Coleman ‘16 added how intersectionality included “how you see the world and how the world sees you”. With all panelists being alums of SJU, talk about the Jesuit Value Cura Personalis was brought up, noting how these values are able to be incorporated through acts of self care.

Self care, as defined by the panelists, is the act of taking care of our “various selves,” emphasizing the intersectionality between our physical and mental selves. All three panelists recommended finding a village of support and setting clear boundaries in the workplace in order to combat burnouts like activism fatigue, with moderator Maddie DeMarco emphasizing the skill in learning to pick your battles.

The panelists also brought up embracing the uniqueness in our various identities through authenticity. “You wanna be your own person,” quotes Sweeney. Panelists credited their involvement in Women’s Leadership Initiative throughout their time at SJU to helping them embrace their authentic selves in the workplace by standing their ground and not feeling intimidated.

The discussion closed with each of the panelists talking about how full circle their current careers are since their time at SJU, stating how “it feels like (everything) was meant to happen”. The three accomplished panelists offered insightful and unique perspectives on what intersectionality looks like in their respective workplaces and left the audience with a feeling of inspiration about their dedication to social justice issues in their careers.