Being an ally - by definition - means "to unite or form a connection or relation between". Generally I'm pretty open and accepting with people who might be a different race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation than me. I've probably grown the most in my allyship (see, it's a word now. I've used it twice!) with those who identify as LGBTQ. I have a number of people I care deeply about who identify as LGBT and I see no reason they should be treated differently from me due to one part of who they are. The area where I've identified needing continual growth has been my allyship with those who identify as black. Not because I don't sympathize or have people I care deeply for who identify as such. But I haven't been as outspoken as I could be. I need to use my white privilege to challenge racial bias.
There are a few things I'm committed to doing in the next few months to be a better ally.
- I will talk with the director at my son's school about adding more diversity in toys and curriculum. I'd love to bring in a preschool entertainer who can talk about race and acceptance.
- If I hear something at the booth next to me or in line at the store, I will find a way to say something. I'll be polite but direct. This will role model for my kids how we stand up for others and value diversity.
- I will make the time to read at least one book that will enhance my understanding or ability to be an ally. (Recommendations? Leave them in the comments PLEASE!!)
- I will do at least one fundraiser for the ACLU. This is already in progress. If you're interested in helping, shop here. I'm hoping to do another in the future!