The literature on bystander intervention has brought us the concept of allyship. Allyship is a strategy used to support and advance the voice of vulnerable or marginalized individuals and groups, which can be used to facilitate movement during difficult conversations. Allies tend to recognize issues of power imbalances specific to gender/sex, race, age, or socioeconomic status, and choose to join the struggle (s) of the disadvantaged. Much has been written about allies as a result of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. Allyship refers to individuals and actions taken to collaborate with others to fight injustice and inequity. The fundamental objective of allyship is to provide support needed to “change policies, practices and the culture” where the inequity is occurring.
Questions and exercises to consider with classmates and/or colleagues:
- Think about a time when you found yourself serving as an ally in a situation where someone was being bullied or encountering a macro or micro aggression. What prompted your action?
- Think about a time when you observed bullying or a macro/micro aggression and did not act. What are your thoughts now about that event?
- How do you understand the potential benefits and challenges to becoming an ally in the healthcare or academic environments?
Guide to Allyship
An open-source starter guide on becoming an effective ally by Amélie Lamont
Seven Types of Allies
BBC Creative Diversity
Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is a moving and transcendent look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to adulthood, as a shy outsider dealing with difficult circumstances, is guided by support, empathy, and love from the most unexpected places.
YouTube video by J Mase III
Kendall, FE. (2003). How to be an ally if you’re a person with privilege.
Melaku, T.M., Beeman, A., Smith, D.G. & Johnson, W.B. (November/December 2020). Be a Better Ally, Harvard Business Review.