For years I have called myself a diversity advocate, an ally, a person who cares about equality and equity. A person who sees, acknowledges, and appreciates the rich diversity we all bring to the table. That said, it’s not always easy to know how best to be an ally — good intentions and want are a great start, but not the end of the story.
This article by Jamie Utt is a fanastic review of essential aspects of an effective and sincere ally, not just in words but in actions.
The author expounds on the 10 following considerations in holding onesself accountable as an ally, some of which are easy to misunderstood or overlook. Where might you need to hold yourself more accountable, and what are you doing well? When reading articles like this, I always reflect and embrace on areas I still need to develop and am humbled by courage of advocates to model the like:
There are lots of ways to be a great “ally” – and innumerable ways to be an ineffective one.
1. Being an Ally is About Listening
2. Stop Thinking of ‘Ally’ as a Noun
3. ‘Ally’ is Not a Self-Proclaimed Identity
4. Allies Don’t Take Breaks
5. Allies Educate Themselves Constantly
6. You Can’t Be an Ally in Isolation
7. Allies Don’t Need to Be in the Spotlight
8. Allies Focus on Those Who Share Their Identity
9. When Criticized or Called Out, Allies Listen, Apologize, Act Accountably, and Act Differently Going Forward
10. Allies Never Monopolize the Emotional Energy
Read Utt’s article to read more on how you might apply these to your life in continuing the ever-important mission of advocacy. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for your heart.