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Effective Allyship in 2021

With the climate of the country and everything that has happened in the last year (i.e., the pandemic, the murder of Geroge Floyd, and the insurgence that happened at the Nation's Capitol), we thought it was important to focus on Allyship as we transition to a new administration for the next four years.

Allyship has become such a huge buzzword over the last five years, and I know for a fact a lot of people still do not fully understand what it means. Here's my favorite definition. Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara, the Program Director in the Office for Diversity at the Mayo Clinic, defines Allyship as:

"The proactive, ongoing, and incredibly difficult practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege works in solidarity and partnership with a marginalized group of people to help take down the systems that challenge that group's basic rights, equal access, and ability to thrive in our society."

If you are still unsure about how you can be an ally or want to help a friend out who needs some guidance, here are four simple tips for effective Allyship.

  • Tip #1: Educate & Unlearn. Recognize your privilege & your unconscious biases before you try to help marginalized groups. We all have some degree of privilege and can be an ally to someone else, even if you are a member of a marginalized group. You don't be loud and wrong.

  • Tip #2: Don't Assume. Different marginalized groups need different things. Assuming what someone's needs are, gives off' savior complex' vibes.

  • Tip #3: It's not about you. Don't center yourself & don't take things personally. You might not be directly contributing to a marginalized group's oppression, but you have some degree of privilege that causes you to benefit from that oppression. (See tip #1)

  • Tip #4: Listen. Amplify marginalized voices. Don't overshadow them. The main thing an ally can do is give others access to the platforms so that those without voices can be heard.

Being an ally isn’t easy. It requires a lot of unlearning and confronting some hard truths. But allies serve a vital role in the fight against injustice and the oppression of marginalized groups.

Feel free to share these tips and encourage those you know who are interested in DEI work to sign up for the email list.


One more thing: DSRD Consulting helps companies invest in their diverse employees and create a toxic-free and inclusive work environment. If you are eager to make your company more diverse and inclusive but don't know where to start, click here to find out your DEI Score?

We created this DEI Scorecard to help companies find out:

  • Where you are in your DEI journey

  • The exact steps you need to take to transform your company's culture right now.

Once you complete this quiz, you'll get an email with your DEI Score and actionable next steps you can take.

Thanks for reading. Be well and stay safe!

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