Allyship is the continuous process in which someone with privilege and power seeks to first learn about the experiences of a marginalized group of people, and then ultimately empathise with their challenges and build relationships with that group of people.
The role of an ally includes (but is not limited to):
- Being able to listen, and shine a spotlight on those whose voices are often unheard.
- Recognizing your own privilege and power, and using that privilege to lift others up.
- Being aware of implicit biases you might have.
- Supporting the group you're allying by letting them speak for themselves whenever possible.
- Not expecting special recognition for being an ally, and not taking credit for the ideas of the marginalized group.
Some of our white colleagues have taken the time to explain what allyship means to them below:
HR Equality and Diversity Adviser, Sheena Griffiths has written a piece on the importance of white people overcoming the hesitancy of talking about race and addressing structural racism and becoming white allies.
Sheena Griffiths - Reflections from a work in progress
SarahJane Snelson is the CAL Education Service Delivery Manager and her piece speaks about what allyship is, what it means to her, and also has a lot of useful resources for those that want to develop their understanding of race inequality.
SarahJane Snelson - What is allyship?
Juliet Kele is a Research Fellow in Human Resource Management in the Business School. She reflects on how different and unique all our experiences and stories are, and what that means in terms of allyship.
Juliet Kele - Taking a moment of reflection
Mike Stanford is the Interim Assistant Director within the Academic and Digital Skills Centre. He reflects on what allyship means to him.
Mike Stanford - What allyship means to me
Dan Hughes is the Assistant Team Manager for CAL's Student Attendance Team. He reflects on realising he had a personal problem with racism and understanding his privilege.
Dan Hughes - Understanding my privilege
Nicola Collins is an Administrator in the Academic Skills Centre in the Main Library. She reflects on the killing of Geroge Floyd, how Covid affects BAME communities, and the part she can play in race equality.
Nicola Collins - "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it"
If you would like to submit your own piece please email the Race Equality Network.