Justice at the intersection - questions and activities

Rebecca Lerve 13 October 2021

Read Justice at the intersection (from the Winter 2021 edition of Australian Catholicsand take part in the following questions and activities. 


  1. What does the phrase ‘on the margins’ mean?
  2. Can you think of some groups that are ‘on the margins’
  3. How is intersectionality defined in the article?
  4. What is an example of intersectionality? Why does the author say it is important to be ‘intersectional in your activism’?
  5. How does the author relate intersectionality to the values of Catholicism?



Speeches and class debate: Australian Human Rights Commission outline the rights that refugees and asylum seekers have access to in Australia, once they have obtained a visa.
1) Gather information about these rules.
2) Consider: do you think these are just or unjust rules? Do these rules align with Catholic values? Do these rules uphold human dignity? What would you like to see change?
3) Prepare a speech that argues for your opinion.
4) As a class, you could run a debate using these speeches. The class could vote for the best speech, which could be presented to the school, community or local MP. 

Event management: What kind of social events or group programs do you think would support refugees? As a group activity, plan a social event or program to welcome the marginalised in your society. What is the aim of your event of program? What would you need to consider to account for the specific needs of this group? How would your event support these people or help them connect to appropriate support services? What would your budget be and how would you fundraise for the event?

Inspired writing: Write a creative piece inspired by Nandani’s experiences. Consider the challenges she has faced. You could choose one aspect of her story that strikes you and expand upon it.  Perhaps you would like to research more about arranged marriage, or civil war in Sri Lanka or the experience of refugees coming to Australia to build a stronger vision for your creative piece. You could consider what these events may have felt like for Nandani or the people around her in that moment.

Local posters for support: What other organisations, businesses and services are there that aid and support marginalised women in your community? Create a poster with information. Ask around in local venues such as libraries, churches and medical centres if they will stick the poster in their bathrooms or on their notice boards for women to see.

Drawing a scene: Consider Matthew 25:35-40. What kind of support does Jesus suggest giving to those in need? Jesus invites us to seek Him among the people in need. After reading this passage, sit quietly and reflect on what Jesus is asking of us. Draw a scene inspired by this Bible passage.



Building empathy and awareness:
a) Ask the students about how they would feel moving schools. What kind of emotions might they be feeling? What might be hard or easy?
b) What about if they were to move to a new community? What kinds of places would they have to find, like grocery stores, parks, chemists?
c) What about if they were to move to a new country where it was hard to understand the language? What kind of people would the students like to meet there? What would they do or say?
Now imagine someone new came to our school who had trouble speaking English. How could we practice being the kind of person we would have wanted to meet?

Extension activity: Ask the students to draw a school map for an incoming student who doesn’t speak English. How would they show what each place on the map represents without using words?