Originally broadcast live 11:00 AM, 10.24.20
The Social Matrix: Intersectional Identity, Racism, and Covid-19

Jodie Kliman, Ph.D., Yacihuilca Moní, Fatuma Dzilala


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This presentation describes a computerized visual training and research tool, the Social Matrix (Kliman, 2010), which displays intersectional social identity, and relates that identity to the twin pandemics of systemic racism and Covid-19. Many aspects of social location – race and health/ability, as well as social class, gender, sexuality, religion, and immigration status – influence individuals’ vulnerability to the toxins of both racism and coronavirus. They do so in synergistic rather than additive fashion. For instance, essential workers who are marginalized by race have an exponentially greater risk of becoming sick, dying, or spreading Covid-19 in their communities than do workers also marginalized by race who have the class privilege of working virtually. Similarly, first-generation college students of color may face far greater challenges in managing the stressors of academics, work, and family responsibilities in the face of the recent explosion of racial violence than White first-generation students or continuing-generation students of color with economic privilege.


Jodie Kliman, Ph.D.
Yacihuilca Moni'
Fatuma Dzilala