[inspired by HDF 110: Roots of Oppression with Cheryl Geisthardt]
In this course we discussed many topics including Racism, Contemporary Issues: Hate in America, Wealth, Race, and Health, Poverty/Environmental Injustice, Poverty and Distribution of Wealth, Education in the U.S., Gender Socialization, Sexual Orientation, Gender Oppression, Oppression and the LGBTQ Community, Religion, Disabilities, Denial/Resistance, and Ending Oppression: What can we do?.
This course was heavy in content and I could talk for hours about the information that I gained. Instead of doing that, I encourage you to take the course. Instead I am going to share: 5 Tips for Becoming An Ally:
1. Understand your privilege.
Understand what rights you have and others don’t. Know your similarities and your differences and know what issues you are advocating for.
2. Listen & do your homework.
Listen in order to understand, don’t listen in order to speak. // There are many resources to do research – social media and the internet are wonderful. Watch some vlogs, read an article, follow an advocates tweets, be emerged in the conversations and remember to think before you post.
3. Speak up, not over.
Support others, but don’t let your presence be so loud that it drowns out the individuals who you are supporting.
4. You’ll make mistakes! Apologize when you do.
We are human and it happens. Don’t take it personally and be willing to learn in order to understand their point of view. // On the flip side, in conversation with others and they slip up, instead of calling out, call them in. Don’t take it out on them personally bashing their character. Rather tell them about the perspective that the other side of the spectrum may have. Remember that at one point, you were just like them and someone probably did a similar thing for you. You’ve gotta reach them where they’re at.
5. Ally is a verb.
Arguably the most important of the 5, remembering that ally is more than a word, it’s an action. You need to do the work (1-4 above). Not just once a day, but continuously.
As humanity we are a tree. Some of our roots are planted in hateful soil.
With you as an ally and an advocate these issues can be uprooted.
We can plant them in love and learning.
It starts with us.
What are we waiting for?