Allyship

You are an ally only if those you seek to support and uplift view you as you such. – ARiA

What?

Authentic allyship is an active and consistent practice of using your own power and privilege to achieve equity and inclusion, while holding yourself accountable to marginalized people’s needs.  

Why?

Marginalized groups fight tirelessly towards equality and justice, and it is an extremely difficult, long, slow process.  Effective allies and accomplices can bolster the efforts and increase power through numbers. In fact, by leveraging their power and privilege to confront racism within groups of their own kind, allies can extend the reach and impact of anti-racism work. 

How?

Being an ally starts at an individual level and it is mostly invisible work. It requires constant self-driven education, self-examination, and an awareness of when to listen and when to speak. Allyship is a practice informed directly by those whom we seek to support and uplift.  

Recommended Resources

Act for Impact

If I am in the learn stage of my journey I need to expand my awareness of the lived experiences of marginalized groups and gain a deep and meaningful understanding of issues faced by them through credible resources and critical thinking. My focus is on exposing myself to first-hand sources of information, likely "from a distance", to learn in an unfiltered way that minimizes unintentional or inadvertent harm. 

What I can do to ACT as an ally:

  • Extensively study the difference between authentic and performative (or optical) allyship. 
  • Understand the difference between ally, accomplice (and co-conspirator), and consider which you want to work towards becoming. 
  • Read past issues and subscribe to the Better Allies 5 Ally Actions newsletter

If I am in the grow stage of my learning journey, I should actively practice allyship, adjust my own behaviors, and internalize inclusive attitudes/beliefs. My focus is on myself -- how I think, (re)act, interpret -- and ultimately how I "show up" in a space. 

What I can do to ACT as ally:

  • Examine my own biases to identify the marginalized groups I need to learn more about. 
  • Seek allyship guidance through self-education from members of the marginalized groups you seek to support, uplift, and amplify. 
  • Look up the appropriate native land acknowledgement for your location and learn the history. 
  • Read past issues and subscribe to the Better Allies 5 Ally Actions newsletter
  • Complete several suggestions (that are individual acts) from 103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.

If I am in the lead stage of my learning journey, I am more informed, practiced, and better equipped to model authentic allyship, challenge the status quo, and affect change within my spheres of influence even when faced with adversity, resistance, or ignorance. My focus is inspiring others to examine their beliefs, learn, and grow. 

What I can do to ACT as an ally:

  • Include a land acknowledgment at the start of your presentations, speaking engagements, or other events. Include a recap on the history of the peoples referenced in your land acknowledgement. 
  •  
  • Try to examine the (observable) biases in the people you interact with most often; develop and implement strategies to disrupt those biases through education and advocacy. 
  • Consider specific areas of focus to bolster allyship work in your organization, for example in recruitment & retention or teaching & learning, and empower collaborative (work with key partners and include those whom you wish to impact) work to improve these areas.  
  • Read past issues and subscribe to the Better Allies 5 Ally Actions newsletter
  • Complete several suggestions (that involve working with or influencing others) from 103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.
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