Intersectionality Training Institute

Welcome to the Intersectionality Research Institute (IRI). Chartered in 2019, IRI is a cross-disciplinary institute at the George Washington University focused on the application of intersectionality to quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research, policy, and practice.

Although feminists of color, critical race theorists, women’s studies scholars, and activists have long known how useful intersectionality is for social justice work, interest in intersectionality is now flourishing in more mainstream circles such as the academy and national health agencies. In 2011, for example, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academies of Science) declared intersectionality to be a core cross-cutting perspective for research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health. High-impact scholarly journals such as American Psychologist, the American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, and The Lancet, have all published highly-cited articles on intersectionality. More recently, in November 2018, the Division of AIDS Research at the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for applications (RFA) on the topic of intersectional stigma and HIV prevention.

More recently, in November 2018, the Division of AIDS Research at the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for applications (RFA) on the topic of intersectional stigma and HIV prevention. Roughly a year later, NIH issued yet another intersectionality-related RFA. This time, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, one of the RFA’s co-funders, explicitly expressed its interest in “projects that address measurement of intersectionality with respect to sexual and gender minority (SGM) status…”.

As for us here at the Intersectionality Research Institute, intersectionality is at the forefront of all of our work: our scholarship about diverse topics relevant to intersectionality and health equity; our mixed methods social and behavioral science research on the social-structural context of Black men and women’s health and wellbeing, and the health of Black, Latinx and multi-racial/ethnic LGBT people; as well as our Intersectionality Toolkit Project to improve the policymaking process to improve health and well- being for diverse women, children and families in the U.S.

The Intersectionality Research Institute builds on the burgeoning interest and excitement about intersectionality’s potential to enhance research, policy and practice, and advance social justice. At the IRI we aim to facilitate the development of a cross-disciplinary network of scholars within the George Washington University and beyond to collaborate on intersectionality-related research and policy projects.

Read on to learn more about us and opportunities to collaborate in this work. We’re excited that you have joined us for this journey.



Lisa Bowleg, M.A., Ph.D.
Founding Director, IRI

Jenné Massie, Dr.P.H., M.S.
Deputy Director, IRI