Intersections Radio is the independent podcast where we geek out on all things intersectionality (check it out – The Washington Post did a primer on the concept of intersectionality)! For a long time, I avoided this term – intersectionality – because it felt like an academic buzzword and many people didn’t know what its meaning. I’m reclaiming it with the airwaves. Historically this issue is rooted in feminist history as told by women of color, but it casts a wider net: we all have multiple ways of identifying ourselves, various threads of identity that connect our communities and unfortunately sometimes drive us apart. Why should we be limited in how we identify ourselves? Why is pop culture and the media insisting on limiting our experiences through labels?
This all began with my involvement in the Deaf community: I am also a Sign Language Interpreter with a former life as a (Spanish speaking) bilingual education teacher. Growing up in an immigrant family, I was accustomed – maybe even most comfortable – in circumstances of cultural negotiation. But as I began learning American Sign Language and pursuing Sign Language Interpreting, I never saw stories, curricula, or methods involving Deaf people of color. Working with Deaf Latinos and Deaf South Asian Americans is the reason I became an interpreter, and so I set out to start recording narratives from their experiences. Check out one of my favorite stories from Zara Husein on her rebellion against the cochlear implant. This is the basis of Intersections Radio, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Another favorite intersectional story comes from D’Lo – a transgender queer South Asian American comedian – when we traded South Asian wedding tales.
Some history of Intersections Radio:
The first episode aired July 3rd, 2015, during the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). This is a civil rights law which not only prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, but also requires accommodations be made for accessibility (i.e. ramps for buildings, interpreters for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, etc.). The first two episodes celebrated this law and looked at the miles we have to go in terms of intersectional issues of people with disabilities.
Previously Intersections Radio was a monthly affairs program on KBOO Community Radio, then a weekly podcast airing on XRAY.FM. Currently, it’s an independent podcast which airs locally on both stations.
Production and friends of production:
This show is hosted and produced by me, Sarika Mehta. Alice Wong of the Disability Visibility Project serves as the advisor due to her long stint as a brilliant researcher, activist, and overall badass.
If you have to miss the live broadcast, check out the the archived podcast (including relevant video and transcripts) of every episode right here on this website.