Becoming an Ally - HOME

Getting Started
Mission, Goals & Concept
Working Definitions
Behaviors and Attitudes
Multicultural Identifiers & Training Model
Ally or Adversary "Y" Model
Assessment Tools

by Level:
Social Action

Programs/Enrichments by
Multicultural Identifier:

Sexual Orientation
or Multiple Identifiers


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List of Behaviors & Attitudes

Adversary Path

Accept the status quo.
Collude with the exiting system of oppression
Don't acknowledge your own position of power.
Deny your privilege.
Believe society is colorblind and that no differences or inequalities really exist.
Assume that everyone has equal rights.
Ignore acts of discrimination.
Believe that we are all responsible for our position in society.
Be complacent.
Deny your role in oppression.
Get stuck feeling guilty for your personal and group's actions in the past.
Be defensive.
Perpetuate stereotypes.
Tell oppressive and/or inappropriate jokes.
Believe that you can experience being oppressed too.
Be a bystander.
Assume that we are "done" dealing with diversity and discrimination in our society.
Show pity and sympathy for the targets of oppression.
Blame others for their position in society.
Believe that working against oppression only benefits the targets of oppression.
Consciously or unconsciously help perpetuate the system of oppression.
Benefit from being an individual and not having to represent your whole group without seeing how others do not have this advantage.

Ally Path

Interrupt offensive jokes.
Learn from someone who is different from you
Speak up for those voices not present.
Educate yourself and others
Attend a rally.
Research the issues and candidates before you vote in an election
Read up on social justice issues.
Read books/articles on people different than yourself.
Reflect on your own experiences and how you might be a better ally in the future.
Interact and find support from other allies.
Vote for change.
Don't assume to completely know someone else's experience.
Try to empathize not sympathize.
Don't judge others.
Keep an open mind.
Don't assume you know another's experience until you walk in their shoes, and even then, try to show empathy.
Attend a protest or march for something you believe in.
Understand your own privileges.
Acknowledge the power bestowed upon you based on your social group membership.
Don't deny your privileges.
Utilize your power to bring about social change that benefits all people, especially those underprivileged.
Vote for candidates who promote social justice issues.
Help others understand their own privileges.
Don't show pity on others.
Work together and support other allies.
Join with other agents to further understand their collective power and privilege, while working together to bring about individual and social change.
Seek to understand all the different forms of oppression.
Let your actions speak louder than your words.
Notice the numerous intersections between different forms of oppression.
Highlight the commonalties between the various targeted groups.
Believe that there are always possibilities for alliance building.
Keep the faith and hope alive.
Don't buy into stereotypes.
Respond with acts of kindness.
Don't expect external rewards for your work as an ally - feel good and be proud about the work you do.
Do it because it's the right thing to do.
Walk your talk.
Know there are different ways of doing and seeing everything.
Be comfortable with criticism and feedback.
Try to acknowledge your own prejudices and baggage.
Challenge the norm.
Use examples that don't exclude a particular group's experience.
Don't get stuck feeling guilty for the oppression of the past.
Take ownership in your own conscious and/or unconscious participation in oppression.
Accept that others may stereotype you.
Demonstrate your ally role through your actions rather than trying to convince others of it through your words.
Believe that everything is a never-ending process.
Let your voice be heard.
Never speak for an entire group's experience or try to represent an entire group.
Don't expect someone else to represent an entire social group.
Remember to speak only from your own experience.
Support people in the manner they want to be supported.
Don't assume to know what support they want and what's best for them.
Recognize that no one form of oppression is more significant than another - there is no hierarchy of oppressions.
Be inclusive.
Accept that none of us are experts in diversity.
Provide support and assistance to those in need when requested, don't assume neediness.
Know that your work is never done.
Go out on a limb.
Know that the past is not your fault, but the present and future are your responsibility.

Materials adapted from: Ederer, Jeff & Barnes, Lori: Allies for Social Justice,, ACPA 2000

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