I am an Ally
"I am an Ally"
We often hear this phrase in social justice conversations, but do we truly understand what it means and how to be an effective ally?
Allyship is an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating. It involves a person in a position of privilege and power operating in solidarity with an equity-deserving group. The key terms here are power and privilege.
Three Things to Know About Privilege:
1. Your privilege and power change based on your social/geographic context.
2. Privilege changes with dimensions of diversity.
3. Having privilege doesn't make you bad; it's about using it for positive change.
Acting in Allyship: Practical Steps
◾Check your biases: Building equitable cultures requires checking both privileges and biases.
◾ Listen Actively: Practice the art of listening to understand the root cause of challenges.
◾Don't be a saviour: Create space for equity-deserving voices rather than offering help.
◾Recognize diversity: Equity-deserving communities are not a monolith; embrace individual experiences.
◾Educate yourself: Resources abound online; it's not the responsibility of equity-deserving communities to educate.
In the Workplace:
☑️ Repeat and acknowledge good ideas.
☑️ Ensure inclusivity in meetings and conversations.
☑️ Believe others' experiences.
☑️ Address inappropriate behaviour in the moment.
☑️ Sponsor someone with potential.
A Note on Mistakes:
Striving for perfection is exhausting. Acknowledge mistakes, learn from them, and keep trying. The key to acting in allyship is not to stop.