The Anatomy of an Ally

Engendering change requires strong leaders as well as supportive allies.This workshop will explore the role of allies in social activism and discuss the characteristics of an effective ally.   From social movements, to peace talks, to humanitarian interventions, the term is increasingly used to express solidarity with disempowered groups. Yet, there is often a lack of understanding regarding what allyship means and how it should be applied. As a result, there is a risk that individuals identifying as allies may unintentionally harm, rather than help, those groups they aim to champion. In this workshop, participants will learn skills to stand with marginalized groups, speak out against inequality and oppression, and promote meaningful policy change. Topics covered will include: active listening, asking questions, accepting constructive feedback, confronting privilege and leveraging it to empower others, and apologizing when mistakes are made. Although the focus of this workshop will be on allyship in the context of gender discrimination, the lessons learned can be applied to other forms of social and political injustice whether racial, political, economic, or religious.

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