Intersection is a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to creating change through dialogue

Prejudice is defined as “Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” Intersection events facilitate actual experience in an effort to replace prejudicial thoughts with genuine relationship and engagement with another person. A study published in Science found that “Perspective-taking, ‘imagining the world from another’s vantage point,’ is one thought process theorized to be especially cognitively active that has has been shown to reduce prejudice…” By encouraging dialogue among participants, we are also encouraging our participants to imagine one another’s experiences. It is by shedding light on these challenging topics, acknowledging their existence and exploring the controversy, that we can begin to build bridges of understanding and mutual respect.

Our primary program is the Human Library Chicago Chapter. A Human Library is an event that aims to create dialogue and understanding between people. Individuals volunteer as human ‘books’ and participants in the event can ‘read’ the book- meaning they would have a one on one conversation with the volunteer and share in a dialogue about that individual’s experience. Books are volunteers from all walks of life who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, class, gender identity, sex, age, lifestyle choices, disability and other aspects of their life. The Human Library provides the opportunity for the community to share and understand the experiences of others in their community.