Intersectionality Unleashed: Amplifying Diverse Voices – Blog #2

Minority Mental Health + Sexual Assault Awareness + STI Prevention

This April DNWML is highlighting intersectional individuals and organizations addressing Minority Mental Health, Sexual Assault Awareness, and STI prevention. Together, they seek to spark new conversations and build dialogue. 

Image Description: Bebe Campbell has light brown skin, dark brown eyes and black course hair. She has her left hand resting on her neck with her face tilted slightly to the right. Campbell has red lipstick on and is smiling at the camera. The background is brown and white and is blurred.

Mental health has and still is not accessible to everyone and trying to access services from trained mental health support can be a burden. Both historically and today, access to mental health support is easier with various kinds of privilege. Many people of color have sought out to change the narrative about addressing mental health concerns, and changing the ways in which services are accessible.  

Author Bebe Moore Campbell sought out to change how her community accessed mental health by creating NAMI-Inglewood in a predominantly black neighborhood. This organization created a safe space for people of color to talk about their mental health and experiences. People gained community around conversation of mental health and learned that they were not alone. This space was influential and monumental to minority mental health and breaking of societal stigmas.  

While doing community activism Tarana Burke reflected that there is a sense of community missing surrounding sexualized violence and thought that the phrase “Me Too” would create a community of mutual care and understanding for individuals who share similar experiences. In 2017, Burke created and organized the foundation of the #MeToo movement, which brings awareness to sexual assault, and the vast numbers of women and their stories. The movement originated when Burke coined the phrase Me Too in her organization Just Be Inc., based in Selma Alabama. With the power of social media, Burke published one tweet that took the phrase “Me Too” into a movement overnight. The movement went viral, and many found a sense of belonging that previously never existed. With the movement expanding by the day, Burke had concerns that the movement would come to exclude who it was initially made for: women of color. However, with the vast numbers of individuals with whom it resonated, the movement became a common ground for individuals of all identities to gain community. 

Image Description: Tarana Burke is at a podium for an outdoor speaking event where there is a banner in the background and a wired microphone in the foreground. Burke has brown skin and black hair that is pulled back in braids. She is talking into the microphone with a smile and is wearing a black shirt that says, “me too.”

There are plenty of societal stereotypes and stigmas around sexuality and disability. When conversation around Sexual Assault starts, most people forget that some with disabilities shouldn’t be left out of those spaces. People with Disabilities are three times more likely than able-bodied individuals to experience sexualized violence. When marginalized communities are left out of important conversations, it leads to lack of reporting of incidents. As a result, statistics do not represent the number of individuals and their experiences. Access to services for individuals who are disabled and have experienced sexualized violence should not come into question. Together, we can break barriers in accessing these topics by starting constructive conversations and asking questions about how these topics relate to the disability experience.  

Image Description: This banner is from the CDC recognizing STI Awareness Week. The image is pink, orange, yellow, and white. In the middle of the banner, it states ”STI Awareness Week” and April 14-20, 2024, as the dates.


Thompson, Vilissa, Nora Ellmann, Rebecca Cokley, and Jamille Fields Allsbrook. “Sexual Violence and the Disability Community.” Center for American Progress, April 20, 2023.  

Links to organizations for Sexual Violence help and STI testing:
Birth Control, STD Testing & Abortion – Ann Arbor, MI (
Planned Parenthood | Official Site
Healthysexual 101 | Healthysexual (
Sexual Health Services | Washtenaw County, MI
Free or Low-Cost Testing and Treatment for HIV and STIs (
HIV Testing – Livingston County, MI (
Together TakeMeHome
Our Legacy – Advocates for Youth
STD Awareness Week – campaigns and resources from CDC 

Resources to learn more:
Black Pioneers in Mental Health | Mental Health America (
Sexual Violence and the Disability Community – Center for American Progress
Bebe Moore Campbell | Mental Health America (
Learn About Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Get To Know Us | Tarana Burke, Founder (
Tarana Burke Biography (
National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support | RAINN
Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence Among People with Disabilities |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC