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How to be an Ally

How to be an Ally

The concept of an ally has been around for a long time, but recently it's become an important term to understand and use. An ally is someone who supports, respects, and defends the rights of others who are marginalized or discriminated against. Allies need to be willing to listen to the stories of those they are advocating for and learn what it is like to live as someone with a marginalized identity.

Listen

When you hear someone talk about their experiences, the first thing to do is listen. This can be difficult when it comes to marginalized groups because it's easy for your mind to be filled with all the things you want to say or do in response, but that's not helpful for anyone. Instead of worrying about what you're going to say, focus on listening and understanding what they're saying. If you don't understand something or have questions about it, ask! You should also avoid making assumptions based on what someone says or how they identify themselves; there are many different ways people can belong to a marginalized group and express themselves through their identity—there's no "one size fits all" solution here.

It's important not only that allies listen but also that they acknowledge when they've made mistakes. Asking questions like "What could I have done differently?" or "Do I need more education?" shows validation and humility in how we approach issues outside our own experience

Learn

As an ally, you'll need to learn about the experience of people who are different from you. If you're white and have never had to consider what it's like to be a person of color, read books by authors from marginalized groups. If you're straight and cisgender (not trans) read books by LGBTQIA+ authors. Read articles and blogs written by people from these communities; even if they don't apply directly to your life now, they're still important for understanding how other people live their lives for us all to work together toward a more inclusive society. You can also watch documentaries or listen to podcasts about marginalized experiences that may not be familiar or comfortable for you—and then talk about them with others!

Asking questions is another great way to learn more about someone else's experience—but make sure that when doing so, take care not just with what words come out of your mouth but also with how much space they take up: don't dominate conversations; allow room for others' voices too (which might mean taking turns). Do some research into the history and origins of language-related issues; this will help put things into perspective better than reading one article ever could!

Act

Being an ally means that you must take action. It's not enough to listen and learn; you have to help make a difference. You can't just talk about it, but you have to act on your beliefs and be an ally.

Amplify

The next step is to amplify the voices of others. Amplifying the work of other activist groups can help spread awareness about their causes, and it also helps you feel like you're contributing to the movement more greatly. For example, if you're an ally who works with children, consider volunteering at your local chapter of Girls Who Code or Black Girls Code. If your interest is in politics, visit websites and share stories.

Using your privilege—whether that's as a white person, straight person, or cisgender person—to help others gives them opportunities they might not otherwise have access to. You'll be able to use resources like money or time that may be hard for those without privilege to access themselves.

Being an ally is not a one-time thing, it's a lifelong commitment. It means listening to those who have lived experiences of oppression and discrimination, learning about their lives and stories, and most importantly, amplifying their voices and taking action.

Being an ally is not a one-time thing, it's a lifelong commitment. It means listening to those who have lived experiences of oppression and discrimination, learning about their lives and stories, and most importantly, amplifying their voices and taking action.

Being an ally means educating yourself on the history of oppression in our society. It means learning about the ways racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia still exist today in schools, workplaces, or even your own home. And for straight white men like me—it also means doing more listening than talking when it comes time to talk about issues like feminism or Black Lives Matter with people from marginalized groups.

Conclusion

By taking the time to listen and learn, you are making a huge difference. You are allowing people who have been oppressed and marginalized to share their stories with the world, by amplifying their voices through your actions. This is an essential step in recognizing how privilege impacts our lives and how it keeps certain groups of people silent. As an ally, we all need to unite together and fight for equality for everyone!

 

Show how you feel and order your very own Proud Ally print here. Or, view our other Allyship prints here 

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