Everyone and anyone can be an ally. It is a concept that refers to individuals who are not necessarily identify personally with a cause or group but believe in the fight to achieve equality and justice for everyone. On an individual level, it involves being an active voice and support and standing up for what is right but on a wider scale; it involves addressing the oppression that is embedded in our society. (Guide to Allyship)
Acting in solidarity with oppressed groups and taking the time to understand and empathize with their experiences are essential components of allyship. In recent years, there has been an increasing shift placing more value in “free speech” rather than being inclusive and respectful to all people. One study even referred to a perceived ‘growing threat’ of repressive social justice, reporting that 46% of students at an American university stated that free speech was more important than inclusion and diversity. Being an ally for any group must then involve speaking out and standing up for what is right. (FCPP)
There is a wealth of qualitative studies on how being an ally can have significant benefits on an individual, their friends and family, their community, and society. It is suggested that such benefits include a wider understanding of the cause or group, improved growth and development, and an increased level of tolerance. (American Journal of Orthopsychiatry)
Question: How would you speak out if you witnessed discrimination?
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