Allyship refers to the actions and behaviors of someone who actively supports and advocates for the rights and well-being of a marginalized or oppressed group, even though they are not a member of that group themselves. An ally works to understand and recognize their own privilege and works to use that privilege to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression.

Being an ally involves actively listening to and learning from members of marginalized groups, speaking out against injustice and discrimination, and taking concrete actions to support and empower those groups. It also involves acknowledging and working to change one’s own biases and prejudices, and being willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Allyship is an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and self-reflection, and it is important for allies to recognize that they will never fully understand the experiences of marginalized groups, but can still work to support and uplift them.

Take Action

Tips for being a better ally.

Get Educated

Educate yourself about the issues facing marginalized groups and the ways in which you can support them. This can involve reading books, articles, and other resources, attending workshops or events, and listening to the experiences and perspectives of marginalized individuals and communities.

Listen and Learn

Learn from marginalized individuals and communities, rather than assuming you know what is best for them. Seek out the perspectives and experiences of marginalized groups, and be willing to listen and learn from them.

Don’t Just Say It, Do It

Allyship is not passive. Speak out against discrimination, advocate for policies and practices that promote equity, and support organizations and initiatives that work to empower marginalized groups.

Reflect on Your Privilege

As an ally, it’s important to be aware of your own privilege and how it may impact your perspective and actions. Take time to reflect on your own biases and how they may shape your understanding of issues facing marginalized groups.

Be Accountable

As an ally, it’s important to be accountable for your actions and to take responsibility for any harm you may cause. If you make mistakes or say or do something that is hurtful, be willing to apologize and work to make things right. 

Learn More

Study Hall: Solidarity Isn’t Conditional

A Study Hall discussing how solidarity and allyship aren’t contingent on what other groups can do for you and how discomfort can’t interfere with liberation.

Study Hall: Finding One’s Role as a White Organizer in Nonwhite Spaces

A Study Hall in response to a question about whether white people can take a leadership role in organizing work in nonwhite spaces and issues.

Taylor Swift and the Limitations of Mainstream Feminism

The Taylor Swift controversy highlights a problem with mainstream feminism: it’s white-centric and relies on performative virtue signaling to prove allyship.

Why Empathy is Important for Social Change

Learn how addressing social and racial injustices requires moving beyond self-centeredness and becoming more empathetic.

Year in Review: What Does It Mean to Be an Ally?

This year, allyship had its moment and was even named word of the year by But what does it mean to be an ally?

Allyship is the word of the year. But does that reflect our collective commitment to action?

Allyship is word of the year. As our country grapples with racial and social inequity, we reflect on whether we lived up to its definition.

Related Words and Phrases

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