You can create positive change by advocating for others. This starts with acknowledging the inequities that exist and consistently working to become a better ally. How will you amplify the voices of others who need to be heard? How will you stand with, and not for, others?
We cannot talk about advocacy without talking about power dynamics, privilege, and inequities in the world. There are deeply rooted injustices embedded in our societies and social systems which create an imbalance of power and privilege. Learn more about what an ally is by watching this video.
Identity is intersectional— this means that we each hold a combination of identities, such as our gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, religion, and socioeconomic status that all intersect and inform how people see us. Reflect on the different identities you hold—you may hold certain identities that make you part of a marginalized group and you may also hold certain privileges. Then, think about the people in your life. Who supports you as an ally? In what ways do they show up?
If you are part of a certain group, you might be an advocate for them. If you are not part of a certain group, you can be an ally or accomplice— someone who actively supports efforts to end oppression of this group.
Who are you practicing allyship with currently?
What do you do to actively support this group?
Who do you want to be a better ally for?
How could you begin that journey with the community?
Practicing allyship means standing with, not for, others. What does it look like to be a good ally? Choose the ways you will listen, learn, and stand up this week as an ally:
When you stand up to support others who have an identity that you don’t share, it’s important to acknowledge that you are standing with them, not for them. Focus instead on elevating the voices of people who can speak to the issue through their lived experiences— share their words and help them spread their message.
We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves on how inequity shows up in the world and where it comes from. Create a plan to learn more about an issue or cause that you want to be a better ally for— maybe you stay updated on current news, follow thought leaders of these movements, and brush up on the historical context.
Becoming an ally is a continuous learning process. It’s ok to change your mind about something you said or did when you realize the impact wasn’t what you intended. Be intentional about admitting that you made a mistake and correcting yourself in the moment— if you need to, ask questions to get more clarity.