Written by: Serena Sengupta
A quick google search returns the definition of an ally as “being a person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity”.
What does this mean? Why is it important?
Being an ally isn’t easy; it requires constant attention and awareness of the situations we are in. Allies must recognize that despite possibly not being a part of a marginalized community, they must make an effort, every day, to understand the struggle that people within these groups face. Allies often have more privilege, granting them great power to amplify oppressed voices. Allyship is a concerted decision made actively, all of the time.
With this in mind, it is always a good idea to have a baseline idea of where to start in being an ally.
It’s absolutely crucial to listen to marginalized voices and use your privilege to amplify them, whilst accepting criticism in your allyship. Always evaluate your implicit bias, which is when we have “attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge”. Be more than a performative ally – put in the work in your everyday life, even when no one may be watching, and not just to impress an online following.
Most of all, always be willing to constantly grow and learn through the process of being an ally.