So what exactly is an ally?
"Allies" or those who identify as "currently operating in solidarity (COS)" with a particular marginalised group are individuals that regularly check their privilege, are aware of and educate themselves about all forms of inequality, give up and call out oppressive language and behaviour and make a deliberate effort to use their privilege in a constructive way.
Here are some pointers to get you on track to be a proactive ally or COS:
UNDERSTAND YOUR PRIVILEGE
  • Understand that people are not either oppressed or privileged, but there are those who experience greater oppression or privilege than others and that all aspects of your identify interact with one another.
  • You don't need to feel guilty for the privileges you experience, but you should challenge the systems that privilege some people and disadvantage others.

LISTEN AND REFLECT
  • Listen to diverse ideas and experiences from marginalised voices. It will help you to understand the core of a variety of issues.
  • Make time to critically and lovingly self-reflect on your identify and values, how you impact other people's lives and how you can live fully enact your values to be a better person.

EXAMINE YOUR EVERYDAY LANGUAGE AND BEHAVIOUR
  • Think about the words you use in everyday conversations – are you using ableist, sexist or racist language? If you do, stop it.
  • Be careful with pronoun use – try not to mis-gender people by assuming that they identify with gendered pronouns. If you are unsure, ask them what pronouns they prefer to use.
  • Check your subconscious and conscious behaviours. If others criticise or point out that your behaviour is problematic, reflect and apologise without caveats, learn from your mistakes, be accountable and act differently going forward.

SPEAK UP BUT NOT OVER
  • Your job is to support and use your knowledge, privilege and voice to educate others but do not do it at the expense of those you are trying to support.
  • Allies should rarely be the centre of attention when working to achieve justice. Wherever possible, afford opportunities to speak and correctly attribute experiences of the community you are trying to support and the voices that are so often ignored.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
  • Being an ally or a COS is not a status or an identity, it's all about action. You can't just decide to be an ally – being in solidarity is something you strive for but ultimately it is the choice of those you are attempting to unanimously support as to whether they trust you enough to be an called their ally
    Made on
    Tilda