An “ally” is an individual who speaks out and stands up for a person or group that is targeted and discriminated against. An ally works to end
oppression by supporting and advocating for people who are stigmatised,
discriminated against or treated unfairly.
Allies work towards deconstructing implicit bias and preconceived notions about race whilst at the same time making a commitment to continuously educate themselves on issues and experiences that affect minority groups.
We all have a critical role to play in creating an inclusive environment for education, training and employment. People at any level in an organisation can have a significant positive impact on other people’s behaviour and help to make their school, institution or workplace more inclusive.
The motivations for allies often stem from personal values and experiences but what makes a good ally?
Allies are people who recognise they don’t know all that can be known on race issues, but they want to understand more. It’s equally important to remember that people have lots of different elements to their identities (intersectionalities) and some of the issues people face may apply across all strands of diversity.
Allies break down barriers. They may have to grapple with some roadblocks to be actively supportive of race issues but they are willing to take on the challenge.
As allies to each other, we have to listen to understand. Be aware that other people’s lives and experiences will be completely different from our own, especially in terms of discrimination and prejudice.
Support can come in many forms – it can be public (e.g. standing up to discrimination or prejudice) or personal (e.g. through the language we use, conversations we have).