Allies are supportive advocates for non-dominant communities, in their personal and professional lives. Allies are people who recognize the impact of their majority identity and work to end the oppression of marginalized groups. An ally is someone whose personal commitment to fighting oppression and prejudice is reflected in a willingness to:
- Listen more and speak less
- Educate oneself about different identities and experiences
- Being aware of implicit biases you might hold
- Take action to create interpersonal, societal and institutional change
Being an ally is a lifelong process of recognizing power and privilege. However, sometimes recognition in of itself is not enough to fight oppression. An accomplice, on the other hand, is a partner in crime- someone who takes risks knowing their actions are intentional and may result in personal or professional fallout. Depending on your resources, knowledge, and circumstance, you may move between ally and accomplice roles. Remember though, not all folks have the privilege to move in and out of roles and face risk of consequence every day; sometimes taking risks and confronting oppression is necessary even when it’s not comfortable to do so.