Allyship Case Study

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Crash Course on Allyship

My life experiences have been critical to my unwavering commitment to “allyship”. Over the course of my social justice journey, I’ve learned that allyship is key to social justice and is an active way of life and a state of being. It is using bridge-building to ensure equality, inclusion and opportunity for everyone by evoking empathy and perspective to those around you to inspire a call of action.

Recently, I attended the Women’s Convention hosted by the Women’s March in Detroit, MI, where I had the opportunity to attend an allyship session to with Whitney Parnell. Whitney is a rising black millennial activist, and the co-founder and CEO of Service Never Sleeps (SNS), a non-profit that mobilizes communities to promote
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- Fragility. People can be sensitive to digest their privilege, thus are defensive. However, privilege and power doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means that we have a responsibility to work towards the corresponding community to have the same sense of shared community.
- Guilt. Some people who are socially aware that they have privilege become “stuck” in the feeling of guilt. Feeling guilty means there is self-awareness, however by not moving on, there isn’t any progress for social justice.
- Tears. Although empathy is critical for allyship, there is a difference between crying with with and crying on marginalized people. Allyship is hard work, thus having a community is needed for support. However, marginalized peoples cannot uptake your burden, as they are the ones that are actually suffering from the systems.
- Saviour. People tend to accidently fall into the trap of making social justice about them, rather than the marginalized. In allyship you should stand next to, or behind communities, but never in front of. As allies we are trying to amplify the voice of others, not speak for

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