In 2022, the Presbyterian Mission Agency recognized three intersectional priorities that will fully connect to the current Matthew 25 foci of dismantling structural racism, building congregational vitality and eradicating systemic poverty. These three intersectional priorities are: climate change, militarism, and gender justice/heteropatriarchy.
“Intersectionality” is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 to describe “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.” In the same way, these “intersections” provide critical overlays for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s priorities (building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty).
These intersections were identified in the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s strategic visioning process as persistent and serious threats to the well-being of communities thrust to the margins. However, simply identifying them is not enough. Working with our ecumenical partners, we are committed to preserving and enhancing the future of humanity and indeed all Creation.
Though the United States is becoming an increasingly diverse country, we still live in a society dominated by white cisgender heterosexual males whose characteristic bias is unfavorable toward women, people of differing genders and the LGBTQIA+ community. The context of work for gender equity and freedom from heteropatriarchy is a human situation that extends beyond our nation. In all corners of the world, women experience injustice because they are women. LGBTQIA+ people experience injustice because of their gender and sexual identities. And gender nonbinary people experience injustice because they do not fit into the categories of male or female.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to work against gender-based discrimination and heteropatriarchy. The Book of Order states: “In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, God unites persons through baptism regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability, geography, or theological conviction. There is therefore no place in the life of the Church for discrimination against any person” (Book of Order, F-1.0403).
For resources and to learn more, contact Samantha Paige Davis (she/they), Associate for Gender, Racial and Intercultural Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the facebook page at facebook.com/genderjusticepcusa.