How to be a meaningful, active ally
June is Pride Month, but what does it really mean to be an ally?
Pride is a time to celebrate the diversity of LGBTQ2S communities and recognize the history, and hardships they’ve endured. It’s also a time to look toward the progress that has been made and think about the work that still needs to be done.
One of the biggest ways to ensure folks in any community feel included is by moving from a passive place of non-discrimination to an active place of anti-discrimination.
You can do this by ensuring you are practicing active allyship in your daily life. After all, a community is inclusive when people with different identities, experiences, and perspectives feel welcomed, respected, and valued.
With June being Pride Month, it’s a perfect reminder to make meaningful, active allyship a regular practice in our lives.
What does being an ally really mean?
An ally is someone who takes action by identifying opportunities to prevent, counter, or interrupt moments of discrimination. Being an ally means moving from a neutral role to an active role—from being “non-discriminatory” to “anti-discriminatory.”
By learning to recognize how systems of discrimination and power work and how they shape our own privileges and biases, we can learn to spot moments of discrimination as they happen. There are many different ways to practice allyship at work and in your wider community by doing things such as learning, understanding, and using a position of privilege for good.
Here are some steps you can take to make meaningful, active allyship a regular practice—during Pride Month and beyond:
Learning is a life-long process. We all have gaps in our awareness and knowledge. We all have areas in which we can improve and do better.
Even the most committed allies stumble sometimes. It takes courage for people to confront us when we say or do something that reinforces negative stereotypes or systems of discrimination. When we resist the urge to defend ourselves, it clears the path for a more open and productive conversation.
To learn more about becoming a better ally and implementing inclusive practices in your everyday life, consider enrolling in PowerED™ by Athabasca University’s micro-course Embracing Allyship and Inclusion.
Together we can make the difference and allow everyone to feel confident and proud of who they are—during Pride Month and beyond.