A person’s identity is complex and encompasses various areas of their life.

Each person has personal identities which encompass personality traits, hobbies, and other things such as movies, books, colors, music, or sports that you like.

Another part of identity is a person’s tied to our birth and other social identities for us. These social identities are race; ethnicity; socio-economic status; gender; sex; sexual orientation; national origin; first language; physical, emotional, and developmental (dis)ability; age; and religious or spiritual affiliation. Some of us think about these identities more often than others.

When we start to think and learn about social justice, it is important to pay attention to all social identities, those that we connect to and those that we know less about. As we do this, we have an opportunity to become more inclusive of all social identities.

How can I learn about my identity?

We really recommend that you sign up for Social Justice Education Programs with Inclusion Education. And in the meantime, we encourage you to think about your identity by doing the following activities.

  1. Fill out either of the two identity exploration tools below.
    1. MSC Grid
    2. Social Identity Wheel
  2. Answer the following questions:
    • What was easiest to fill out?
    • What didn’t make sense to me?
    • What are the boxes or sections that I have never felt connected to?
    • What boxes or sections are the most important to me?
    • Who should I talk to about what I’m learning?
  3. Take a class. While we encourage students to do numbers 1 and 2, we know that you can learn a lot about identity by taking classes here at UW-Madison.
  4. Attend events with the Multicultural Student Center.
  5. Join a student organization to learn more about students from different backgrounds and cultures.

Identity Exploration Resources

Multicultural Student Center 

  • The MSC is committed to supporting students of color at UW-Madison. They host a variety of programs and services to support students as they cope with their studies at UW-Madison, a predominately white institution.

Gender and Sexuality Campus Center 

  • The GSCC provides education, outreach, advocacy, and resources for UW-Madison student communities and their allies to improve campus climate and their daily intersectional experiences.