By Brandi Bellamy, AMFT, PPS
Being an ally requires true commitment. Here are some effective action steps you can take.
Listen. Listening is the initial and most important step to being an ally. Listening requires you to let down your walls and process other people’s perspective.
Learn. Take time to do your own research from credible sources about oppression. Use books, websites or personal anecdotes. It is not up to people who experience oppression to educate you. True allyship involves personal effort.
Speak up. When you hear someone saying prejudiced, speak up, even if no one is listening. Your privilege is that you have the opportunity to tell people that they are being disrespectful.
Educate. Use what you learn and share it with people in your community to clear up misconceptions they may have.
Create space. People in oppressed groups do not always feel welcomed in all spaces. As an ally, it is your responsibility to build inclusive spaces that values multiple perspectives.
Share your privilege. Not everybody has the same access to resources or opportunities. Share those resources/opportunities or fight for them to have the same access.
Acknowledge mistakes. We are human and mistakes WILL happen. Don’t fixate on it, instead: Acknowledge. Apologize. Amend. They don’t have to accept your apology, but allyship goes beyond your relationship with particular individuals, it is a dedication to being there for an entire community.
Being an ally isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Here are some resources to get you started on your journey:
Ways to not be a performative ally
10 ways to non-optical allyship
Anti-racism books for kids and teens
Tips to be a trans ally
10 ways to be an ally to the Muslim community
Being an ally to folks with disabilities
Reposted with permission.