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date: 03 December 2022

Intersectionality and Social Worklocked

Intersectionality and Social Worklocked

  • Ann Marie Yamada, Ann Marie YamadaAnn-Marie Yamada, Ph.D., is an associate professor with the School of Social Work, University of Southern California. Her teaching and research interests include adult and older adult mental health and culturally relevant approaches to conducting research. Her research involves collaboration with public-sector mental health centers to develop or adapt services for culturally diverse, underserved, urban communities. She is especially interested in enhancing the cultural relevance of community mental health services for Asian immigrant and Pacific Islander populations with documented disparities in mental health service use. She has previously served as cochair of the Council on Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity and as a councilor on the Commission on Diversity, Social and Economic Justice of the National Council on Social Work Education.
  • Lisa Marie Werkmeister RozasLisa Marie Werkmeister RozasLisa Marie Werkmeister Rozas, Ph.D., LCSW, is an associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Chair Human Oppression Curriculum Unit and member of the Puerto Rican/Latino/a Studies Project. She leads the travel study to Germany focusing on the Holocaust. Her research interests include health inequities, health and human rights, issues of oppression, discrimination, racism, and their effect on health and mental health. Similarly, her teaching and consulting interests are focused on issues of oppression, power, privilege, intersectionality, culture, identity, and stigma. She currently teaches the Human Oppression Course, Health Disparities Course, Holocaust Course, and two casework courses.
  •  and Bronwyn Cross-DennyBronwyn Cross-DennyBronwyn Cross-Denny, Ph.D., is assistant professor and program director of Social Work, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut. Her areas of teaching expertise include social justice, human diversity, and cultural competency; social work research; human behavior; and social work practice. She has extensive clinical practice experience working with diverse populations and problems. Areas of research interest include social and economic justice, human diversity, social determinants of health, equitable mental and physical health care, and addiction. She currently serves as cochair of the Council on Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity and has been a councilor since 2012.


Intersectionality refers to the intersection of identities that shape an individual’s standing in society. The combining of identities produces distinct life experiences, in part depending on the oppression and privilege associated with each identity. The intersectional approach is an alternative to the cultural competence model that can help social workers better address the unique and complex needs of their diverse clients. This entry provides a general overview of the historical and interdisciplinary roots of intersectionality and addresses its use as a theoretical perspective, methodology, mechanism for social change and social justice, and policy framework in social work. The role of intersectionality in social work policy development, teaching, and research will be presented with consideration of future directions and areas for further development.


  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Human Behavior
  • Poverty
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Culture
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice

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