How can you be a good ally?
Alycia discusses how you can be a good ally, support marginalised groups and advocate for a more inclusive society.
Being an ally means supporting and advocating for marginalised groups who face discrimination and prejudice.
It's important to recognise that being an ally is an ongoing process and requires education, humility, and a willingness to learn. At Matriarch, we recognise that many people in our society have not been taught how to be a good ally… Many haven’t had the opportunity to have those all-important conversations which make them realise what they need to do to actively support marginalised groups.
So what can you do to advocate for a more inclusive world and support your friends, family, colleagues and anyone else who may in some way be part of a marginalised group.
Listen and learn
One of the most important things you can do as an ally is to listen to the experiences and perspectives of marginalised groups.
You should take the time to educate yourself by reading books, attending workshops like those we run here at Matriarch, and following social media accounts who discuss issues faced by marginalised communities.
Amplify marginalised voices
Use your privilege and platform to amplify the voices of marginalised communities.
Share stories, support initiatives, and promote voices.
When you witness discrimination or prejudice, it's important to speak up and call it out.
Use your privilege to intervene and show solidarity with marginalised communities.
For example, it isn’t enough to not be racist, you should actively be ‘anti-racist’. The difference here is that if you aren’t racist, this means you do not express any racist behaviour or opinions, if you are ‘anti-racist’ you actively call out and challenge racist behaviour of others.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of marginalised communities and understand their experiences.
Be empathetic and compassionate in your interactions with them.
But also recognise that cultural differences make people who they are, so culture or personality traits shouldn’t be ignored as if they don’t matter at all. It’s all about celebrating and understanding these unique traits in an appropriate way. Taking an interest in someone’s culture, sexuality, abilities can help them to feel empowered when done in the right way.
Allyship requires action. You can support marginalised communities by volunteering your time, advocating for policy changes or even reading up on important topics online.
Being a good ally is an ongoing and continuous process. You can always learn more, read more, talk more, attend protests, start important conversations, and there’s no better day than today to start taking an interest and making a difference.