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Anti-Oppression - Anti-Racism: Allyship - Take Action

This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues

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Be An Ally

The work of Allyship excerpt from Guide to Allyship by @amelielamont.

Being an ally is hard work. Many of those who want to be allies are scared of making missteps that get them labeled as “-ist” or “-ic” (racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, etc). As an ally, you too are affected by a system of oppression. This means that as an ally, there is much to unlearn and learn—mistakes are expected.

As an ally, you’ll need to be willing to own your mistakes and be proactive in your education.

If you decide to become an ally, but refuse to acknowledge that your words and actions are laced with oppression, you’re setting up yourself to fail. You will be complicit in the oppression of those you purport to help. You are not truly an ally. Know that if you choose not to heed this, you wield far more power than someone who is outwardly “-ist” or “-ic” because you are, essentially, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Just as society will not change overnight, neither will you. Here are some do’s and don’ts that are incredibly important as you learn and grow and step into the role of an ally.

The Don’ts

  • Do not expect to be taught or shown. Take it upon yourself to use the tools around you to learn and answer your questions
  • Do not participate for the gold medal in the Oppression Olympics
  • Do not behave as though you know best
  • Do not take credit for the labor of those who are marginalized and did the work before you stepped into the picture
  • Do not assume that every member of a marginalized group feels oppressed

The Do’s

  • Do be open to listening
  • Do be aware of your implicit biases
  • Do your research to learn more about the history of the struggle in which you are participating
  • Do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems
  • Do the outer work and figure out how to change the oppressive systems
  • Do amplify (online and when physically present) the voices of those without your privilege

Otherwise stated terms are adapted from: