Friday, March 21, 2014

Take the Ally Path!

 Hofstra's 1st Annual Ally Week: March 24-28, 2014

Ally Week is a week for students to engage in conversation and commit to take action against bullying and harassment to become better allies to LGBT students and the LGBT community. Join the celebration and support your LGBT friends and colleagues by attending this year's Ally Week events hosted by MISPO, the Center for Civic Engagement, Hofstra Cultural Center, the LGBT Studies Program, the Pride Network and others! All Hofstra Ally Week events are free and open to everyone in the Hofstra community.

For more information about Ally Week: or 516-463-6796 or find us on Facebook!

What is an Ally?

An ally does not necessarily identify as LGBT, but supports the LGBT community by standing against the bullying and harassment that LGBT students face in school and in the workplace. Allies can be straight or LGBT identified adults! Anyone who takes a stand against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment can be an ally.

Taking the Ally Path

  • Learn from someone who is different from you. Don’t just hear what they say- listen.
  • Educate yourself on social justice by reading books and articles and watching movies about people different from you. Spread the word!
  • Keep an open mind and try not to judge 
  • Don’t assume to completely know someone else’s experience. 
  • Try to empathize, not sympathize.
  • Accept that there are limitations to your ability to empathize and understand someone else’s experience.
  • "Speak from your own experience. Never speak for an entire group’s experience or try to represent an entire group."
  • Ask another person how they identify and what terms to use/not-use. Do not assume all terms are a one-size fits all. Each person identifies differently and identifies with different terms.
  • Be mindful of your unconscious biases: notice your behavior and how it may affect others.
  • Seek to understand the different forms of oppression.
  • Recognize that no one form of oppression is more significant than another; there is no hierarchy of oppression.
  • Seek to understand and acknowledge your own privileges
  • Understand that feeling guilty is a part of the process of being an ally. Don’t let it deter you from being an ally, but don’t try to “make up” for it. 
  • "Know that the past is not your fault, but the present and future are your responsibility."
  • Envision utilizing your power to bring about social change that benefits all people, especially those who come from underprivileged backgrounds.
  • Attend a protest, rally, or march for something you believe.
  • Speak out against harassment and offensive statements you hear by speaking for others who are not present, interrupting offensive jokes, and dispelling myths and stereotypes.
  • Be cognizant of the goods and services you use that might have a positive or negative impact on those you want to be an ally to. 
  • "Expand your global perspective by interacting with people, groups and communities with which you might not ordinarily socialize." 
  • Encourage others to become allies.
  • Interact and find support from and be supportive of other allies.
  • Help build bridges among different social groups.
  • Support environments where everyone can have a voice.
  • Be comfortable with yourself and accept your own identity, background, and history.
  • Don’t expect to be accepted as an ally, and be comfortable with criticism and feedback.  
  • Don’t expect recognition for your ally work.
  • Accept that others may stereotype you.
  • Accept frustration and/or anger from those who have been oppressed.
  • Respond to acts of anger with acts of kindness.
  • Use examples that don’t exclude a particular group’s experience. Be inclusive.
  • 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.
  • Take risks and continually try to improve!

Adapted from:
D'Angelo, Anthony J.: Inspiration for LGBT Students & Their Allies Paperback,  November 5, 2002


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