Being a good ally is hard work.
Perhaps that’s because allyship, according to Webster, is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people.
When you choose to be an ally, you decide to be the change you want to see in your lifetime.
This commitment will transform you; allyship is a commitment to listen and learn and educate oneself through reading and interaction, sometimes with people who are not just like us.
Allyship Requires you to:
- Go beyond posting a photo, sharing a story, or attending a protest.
- Commit to action that you must define and sustain.
- Recognize and own your cultural blind spots.
- Speak up when someone else presents negativity.
- Put your privilege aside.
- Question diverse representation (or lack thereof) in a room or in society.
- Commit to deconstructing blanket stereotypes.
- Always ask “Who” when someone says “They.”
One could wax eloquently about each of the eight points above, but that seems pointless. Because, at the very least, a potential ally understands why these actions are needed.
For many, internalizing these points will be a reminder that we must own our mistakes. Sometimes, this means we must pass the mic to amplify others’ voices…who are quite capable of speaking for themselves.
Most importantly, being a good ally means we pledge to stand up even when we are unsure of ourselves.
Let’s all commit to reframing to our viewpoints through the eyes of an ally.