It’s the last week of Black History Month, but the work is far from over. The Women’s Centre is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and accommodating community. Sometimes navigating social issues is challenging and confusing, but you don’t have to do it alone. We’ve put together the following helpful points and resources to help you be a better ally every month of the year.

 

  1. Listen and stay informed

The first step in understanding is listening. If you aren’t Black, you’ll have a different lived experience from Black people. You may have blind spots when it comes to recognizing varying racial inequities. Listening first when your Black colleagues, friends, and community members speak gives you a chance to understand their true lived experience, hurt, and trauma.

At the same time, don’t depend on marginalized groups to educate you on racism. It should be your responsibility to educate yourself on racial topics and stay informed on these issues. There are endless resources to get you started, and here’s a great one: [1]

  1. Recognize your privilege

Certain factors to your identity may give you an advantage in society over others. To be an ally, you have to recognize your advantages and utilize them to amplify marginalized voices. Acknowledging one’s privilege is often difficult, but ignoring them perpetuates an oppressive system that keeps Black people oppressed.

There are numerous ways to use your privilege to help others who do not have the same opportunities. This point leads us to our next section.

  1. Don’t be a bystander

When you witness discrimination, speak up. Discrimination not only manifests as acts of violence but also includes microaggressions, backhanded comments, invalidation, etc. It is important as an ally to step up and speak up immediately and support the victim when it counts.

  1. Learn from your mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. What is essential is owning up to these mistakes and apologizing for them. Learn from it, improve, and do better. For additional resources on how to be a better ally, visit: [2] [3] [4]

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