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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Kayler

How to be an Ally

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

One of the most common comments I hear related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) topics is the self-proclamation that someone wants to be an ally. How do they get started? Well, in honor of #AllyWeek, which kicks off today, AOE is committed to helping you understand the steps to becoming an ally.

Let’s start with understanding the term: Allyship

Allyship is the practice of emphasizing social justice, inclusion and human rights by members of an ingroup, to advance the interests of an oppressed or marginalized outgroup. It is an active, consistent practice of unlearning and re-evaluating. While many set a goal or declare they are now an ally, allyship is not an identity, nor is it self-defined. An ally acts out of responsibility, not guilt and does not seek reward for their actions.

So, how does one take steps toward becoming an ally, or increasing their allyship skills? Here are some key practices:

  • Actively acknowledge our privilege and power and openly discuss them

  • Listen more and speak less

  • Do our work with integrity and direct communication

  • Do not expect to be educated by others

  • Build our capacity to receive feedback

  • Embrace the emotions that come out of the process of allyship

  • Our needs are secondary to the people we seek to work with

  • Do not expect awards or special recognition

Putting allyship into action: Give some thought to this list and what the definition of allyship means to you.

Ready to start your DEI journey? Reach out to AOE today.


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