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9 Ways To Be An Ally & Friend

Madelyn Parovel

Sun, 4 Jul, 2021


Madelyn Parovel

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 2 minutes

An ‘ally’ is someone who has privilege but chooses to stand for and with marginalised communities who face discrimination. An ally can accomplish this by engaging intangible, ongoing efforts to bring change to oppressive systems. Here are nine ways to become an ally and friend:

Listening

Take the time to hear what marginalized groups have to say – face-to-face, on social media, and in the media. It is not about you, your feelings or opinions; it is about listening to theirs.

Learning

In order to dismantle systems of oppression, it is critical to remove yourself from echo chambers. Finding books, articles, etc. about marginalized communities’ history and current issues can be incredibly helpful.

Participation

Get involved in local social justice groups. Follow them on social media, subscribe to their email lists, and show up and support their work.

Turning Up

If someone from a marginalised community invites you to an event, try your best to attend – listen, learn, and show your support.

Speak Up

If someone you know, a family member, a coworker, or a stranger says something hateful or ignorant, call them out. Silence allows oppression to continue.

Intervene

When someone is being targeted physically or verbally, intervene only if they permit it. As opposed to engaging the aggressor, support them.

Discomfort Is Welcome

When you encounter something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t ignore it. Think about it, feel it, and ask “why?”. The answer will welcome the chance to grow and learn.

Learn

When you’re challenged, don’t get defensive when you make mistakes. Listen, apologies and change your behaviour moving forward.

Make A Difference

The smallest act counts. Support a local organisation financially or volunteer your time on a regular basis. Reach out to justice.org.au to find out who is doing social justice work in your community.

An ally is more than just waving a flag during a celebration day or month. A celebration of acceptance and authenticity 365 days a year, challenging the status quo.

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