As a Social Unity and Oneness Practitioner, Holistic DEI educator, and Allyship coach, I explicitly state that Authentic Allyship is both an inner and outer work. We must learn to embody the values of social equality intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Far too often, we see Allyship as a badge that we wear that says, “I am for this or that cause.” However, in its most authentic form, Allyship is the embodiment of values that create and sustain systems of social equality. Allyship does not target anyone as an enemy; it is committed to all. Its only enemies are systems that seek to dominate and oppress, systems out of alignment with social equality and the highest good of all. We must understand this foundational truth and work in unity if we hope to heal the wounds of our past and create a culture of belonging for all.
Authentic Allyship is a value you can practice, but I believe the title of “Ally” is earned by developing trust and mutual respect and through integrity to the values. So, here is my non-exhaustive, non-linear with varying levels of difficulty list of how to embody the values of Authentic Allyship.
- Get informed about the intersectionality of your dimensions of diversity and acknowledge where you are considered the “social norm.” Work to see and acknowledge and relinquish your privilege created by social standards and work to dismantle them by removing your participation in the belief of the social norms and normalizing and celebrating and affirming all differences as valuable, necessary.
2. Expand your awareness by learning about all dimensions of diversity, particularly communities of which you have little or no knowledge. Understanding the unique challenges posed by lack of consideration for dimensions of diversity outside of the “majority” is essential to understanding social privilege and co-creating equity that supports systems of equality.
3. Listen to people in marginalized communities with care and compassion and a heart of collaboration- take action as if it is your civic duty because it is. We do not live in a vacuum. Understand that our success or our failure is shared. Vote for people who believe this and are willing to collaborate, not isolate, and urge our elected officials to act on behalf of everyone, not just the “majority.” Everyone has social and emotional needs and rights that our elected officials should consider and include.
4. Be intentional about connection and creating authentic relationships across differences. Familiarity forges deeper human relations and a more substantial commitment to Allyship. Your social circle should be diverse to help you develop greater awareness and minimize bias. Listen to the social concerns of others with compassion. Build relationships and mutual trust with those who are different. Stive to be a safe place where people feel they and their social and emotional needs are seen, heard, affirmed, and considered. Become a safe place of belonging for all human differences.
5. Seek guidance from experts and educators of different racialized identities and dimensions of diversity. They can help you see perspectives that someone more like you can not. It is an easy way to diversify your circle, strengthen your inner-work and assist you in seeing and understanding the world and how others experience it in a more significant way. It will also help you create authentic relationships built on mutual trust and respect across differences, assisting in minimizing bias. Seek to learn; there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. Resist the urge to ask friends and colleagues to educate you. Doing this requires extreme amounts of emotional labor with no equal exchange of energy. Instead, invest in your allyship growth by taking classes joining a cohort, or hiring an allyship coach.
6. Work to release generalizations see individuals, resist categories and clumping. Realize there are differences even in groups that are similar. Diversity is everywhere. Honor the unique perspective and experience of everyone. Understand there will be striking similarities and also vast differences. One size doesn’t fit all. Be willing to be corrected without being offended. This is a part of the personal inner work of embodying social equality values. Stay engaged in supporting social equality values both internally and externally. Learn, adjust and lead with equity.
7. Read books, watch shows that are inclusive, and support affirming diversity. Understand that representation matters. Everyone has the right to feel seen, accepted, and celebrated.
8. Stay open, curious, and committed to learning and continuous self-evaluation and alignment to social equality values. There is no point of arrival; we are all on a journey we are all learning.
If you found this information helpful and you want to commit to the work of Allyship, or you would like to learn more, I invite you to Schedule a Discovery Call with me to see how I can assist you. I am passionate about guiding people in their journey to becoming a cooperative component in systems of social equality. I am committed to my continued growth and maintaining a practice of being intentional about Social Equality, Unity, and Oneness every day. Together we can create a world that works for us all.