How to be an ally

How to be an ally

By Nicole Garbanzos

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there’s been an overwhelming number of reports of violent hate crimes against the Asian community across North America. From verbal attacks at a bus stop or a parking lot, being deliberately coughed or spat on, to having acid poured on them, this public health crisis has caused a drastic increase in human rights violations.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to conduct a questionnaire on the spike of xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic. I distributed it to my friends who all have a personal connection to someone in the Asian community.

I wanted to hear their opinion on the attacks and if they had any messages of support for this community that is currently going through difficult times. Here are some of their responses.

“I know my words will never make up for what you are going through, but remember you have allies like me out there. There are still people who support and love you. You will not fight this alone. I am so sorry this is happening. There is no need to hate someone, just because of their race.”

“Though fear is mostly what drives hate, what is happening is unnecessary. Please stay strong, you have allies, and you are not alone.”

“If we live in fear, we sacrifice happiness. If we give up our voices, we strip away what makes us unique.”

“I know it sucks to be treated as a second-class citizen in a place you consider home. But please be safe. You never know what kind of psychopath is planning something sinister because of the color of your skin. Try your best to stay in groups and not be alone. Most hate incidents take place when people are alone in secluded areas and then they become a target.”

”Do not show any fear and do not let anyone put you down in any way, shape, or form. These hate crimes need to be closely monitored by law enforcement. What is happening to you is totally wrong and not necessary in the slightest.”

“I’m sorry that people have become so divided during times when we should all be united. Know that there are people in this world working to educate those who have turned to racism and praying for the safety of the Asian community throughout this pandemic. Blaming innocent people for the pandemic is absolutely ridiculous. It’s completely unfair to attack a group of people over a virus that they are not at fault for.”

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“Know that those of us with a heart are here in solidarity with you. And what these attackers are doing to you is ignorant in every possible way.”

“Continue to be strong and brave. I think what’s happening is wrong and nobody should be treated this way.”

“Even though there are those who want to cause you harm, there are many more of us who are by your side and will fight this battle alongside you. You are not alone. All the races of the world must come together and beat the plague of racism. Just like the violence and harassment against other races, it needs to stop now.”

“I would like to offer my support in any way I can. I’d like them to know that I’m here to help anyone and everyone who needs it. We’re all in this together and need to spread compassion, rather than fear during this time. We all need to band together during this time, and blaming those who are not individually responsible doesn’t help anything. We need to take care of and support each other, as it isn’t fair to discriminate against Asians for this crisis we are in.”

Director of SF’s Trans Initiatives shares how to be an ally

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility, dedicated to honor and empower the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.

The day comes at a time when lawmakers around the country are passing legislation that puts limits on trans people especially kids, everything from medical care to playing youth sports.

Only one city in the whole country has a trans-led city government office – San Francisco.

“We’re seeing it widespread across the country continue to roll back against transgender rights, and specifically targeting young people in terms of accessing restroom or support, just like any other kid wants to access,” Farley said. “These are often perpetuated by fear and hatred, and so we all need to do our part to stand up against it.”

Farley said San Francisco is enforcing a travel ban for city-funded trips to states with anti-LGBT laws and with any contracts that are passing the bill, building up on the legislation implemented by former Mayor Ed Lee.

In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, San Francisco also launched the “Show your Pride! Get Vaccinated” campaign to improve access to COVID-19 vaccine for the LGBTQ+ community, especially hit hard by the pandemic.

Today is #TDOV. Show up for Trans rights!
Black & Latinx trans & GNC communities have been hard hit by the pandemic. Join us to raise visibility and take action towards vaccine equity.
Together we can keep our communities safe. #GetVaccinated #VaccinePride https://t.co/NQTBvOAdHN pic.twitter.com/rmKH7Dmy5N

— SF Office of Transgender Initiatives (@TransCitySF) March 31, 2021

To find out more about how you can take action and be an ally, click here.

For more information on getting vaccinated in San Francisco, click here.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

Director of SF’s Trans Initiatives shares how to be an ally

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility, dedicated to honor and empower the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.

The day comes at a time when lawmakers around the country are passing legislation that puts limits on trans people especially kids, everything from medical care to playing youth sports.

Only one city in the whole country has a trans-led city government office – San Francisco.

“We’re seeing it widespread across the country continue to roll back against transgender rights, and specifically targeting young people in terms of accessing restroom or support, just like any other kid wants to access,” Farley said. “These are often perpetuated by fear and hatred, and so we all need to do our part to stand up against it.”

Farley said San Francisco is enforcing a travel ban for city-funded trips to states with anti-LGBT laws and with any contracts that are passing the bill, building up on the legislation implemented by former Mayor Ed Lee.

In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, San Francisco also launched the “Show your Pride! Get Vaccinated” campaign to improve access to COVID-19 vaccine for the LGBTQ+ community, especially hit hard by the pandemic.

Today is #TDOV. Show up for Trans rights!
Black & Latinx trans & GNC communities have been hard hit by the pandemic. Join us to raise visibility and take action towards vaccine equity.
Together we can keep our communities safe. #GetVaccinated #VaccinePride https://t.co/NQTBvOAdHN pic.twitter.com/rmKH7Dmy5N

— SF Office of Transgender Initiatives (@TransCitySF) March 31, 2021

To find out more about how you can take action and be an ally, click here.

For more information on getting vaccinated in San Francisco, click here.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

How to be an ally

Inclusivity is a critical component for long-term employee retention, and even company growth.

For instance, a Catalyst report, Inclusive Leadership: The View From Six Countries, found the more included employees felt, the more innovative they reported being in their jobs, and the more they went “above and beyond” to achieve team goals. If you want each of your employees to invest time and energy into their work, you need to invest resources to ensure they feel included and valued.

Being an ally means working to develop empathy towards another group’s challenges or issues — and, ultimately, creating a culture in which that group feels valued.

Here, we’ve cultivated a list of resources to help you gain awareness on different perspectives, and ultimately become a more effective ally. While our list is by no means all-inclusive, it’s a good starting point for broadening your own views of the world, your unique privilege, and how you can help others feel included.

12 Resources to Read

  1. How To Challenge Ourselves to Grow As Allies by Corey Ponder
  2. Learning To Cope With Clinical Depression Has Made Me A Better Manager by Libby Maurer
  3. Why LGBT Employees Need Workplace Allies by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
  4. How to be an Ally in the Office by Natalie Stevens
  5. The Complexity of Identity: “Who Am I?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  6. Diversity in Tech: The Unspoken Empathy Gap by Jules Walter
  7. Better Together: 8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits by Jonathan Sposato
  8. Ageism, Diversity’s Forgotten Cousin by Christopher Platts
  9. Why Diversity Matters by Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince
  10. For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly by Joan C. Williams and Marina Multhaup
  11. All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds? By Leah Donnella
  12. Blind Since Birth, Writing Code at Amazon Since 2013 by Neal Karlinsky and Jordan Stead

6 Resources to Watch

  1. The Urgency of Intersectionality by Kimberlé Crenshaw at TEDWomen
  2. The Surprising Solution to Workplace Diversity by Arwa Mahdawi at TEDx Talks
  3. The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Adichie at TEDGlobal
  4. The Paradox of Diversity by Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley at TEDx Talks
  5. Implicit Bias — How It Effects Us and How We Push Through by Melanie Funchess at TEDx Talks
  6. Are You Biased? I Am by Kristen Pressner at TEDx Talks

5 Resources to Listen To

  1. Intersectionality Matters by Nephtali Navarro
  2. Out at Work by Nancy, with Tobin Low and Kathy Tu
  3. Code Switch by NPR
  4. Women at Work by HBR
  5. Tech Inclusion by Change Catalyst

How to be an ally

  1. Actively listen to people within the group with whom you want to ally yourself.
  2. Be aware of implicit biases you might have.
  3. Understand and reflect on your own identity, biases, and privileges.
  4. Do your research on the issues facing the oppressed group for which you want to be an ally. Don’t expect those with whom you want to ally yourself to teach you.
  5. Support the group you’re allying by letting them speak for themselves whenever possible, instead of speaking for or over them.
  6. Don’t take credit for the thoughts, actions, or ideas of the marginalized group for which you’re supporting.
  7. When you make a mistake, apologize sincerely, and use it as a learning experience to help you grow.
  8. Remember, ally is a verb — you need to do the work, every day. There will be instances that make you uncomfortable to speak up, but you can’t be a part-time ally.

How to be an ally

How to be an ally

Originally published Nov 6, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated November 06 2018

Director of SF’s Trans Initiatives shares how to be an ally

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility, dedicated to honor and empower the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.

The day comes at a time when lawmakers around the country are passing legislation that puts limits on trans people especially kids, everything from medical care to playing youth sports.

Only one city in the whole country has a trans-led city government office – San Francisco.

“We’re seeing it widespread across the country continue to roll back against transgender rights, and specifically targeting young people in terms of accessing restroom or support, just like any other kid wants to access,” Farley said. “These are often perpetuated by fear and hatred, and so we all need to do our part to stand up against it.”

Farley said San Francisco is enforcing a travel ban for city-funded trips to states with anti-LGBT laws and with any contracts that are passing the bill, building up on the legislation implemented by former Mayor Ed Lee.

In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, San Francisco also launched the “Show your Pride! Get Vaccinated” campaign to improve access to COVID-19 vaccine for the LGBTQ+ community, especially hit hard by the pandemic.

Today is #TDOV. Show up for Trans rights!
Black & Latinx trans & GNC communities have been hard hit by the pandemic. Join us to raise visibility and take action towards vaccine equity.
Together we can keep our communities safe. #GetVaccinated #VaccinePride https://t.co/NQTBvOAdHN pic.twitter.com/rmKH7Dmy5N

— SF Office of Transgender Initiatives (@TransCitySF) March 31, 2021

To find out more about how you can take action and be an ally, click here.

For more information on getting vaccinated in San Francisco, click here.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

Protests in the U.S. and around the world have forced people to think about how they can contribute to the cause of racial justice and equality. One particularly prevalent point of discussion has been around allyship: What does it mean to be an ally? How can we be better allies to the marginalized voices amongst us? How can we be stronger advocates for the causes we champion?

And true allyship isn’t just a concept for protests. Continue reading to learn what allyship is, and what that looks like in the workplace.

What is allyship?

An ally is someone who is not a member of a marginalized group, but who supports inclusion through stated values and positive action for everyone’s benefit. Allyship is characterized by:

  • Relationships with BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups that are based on accountability, consistency, and trust; and
  • Efforts that are recognized by the marginalized groups you choose to ally with.

The terms of your engagement

The second characteristic of allyship is particularly important to keep in mind: you can call yourself an ally, but your allyship—words and deeds—need to be recognized by the group or groups you are choosing to support. The first step to being an ally, then, is choosing how to show your support.

Some causes, like racial justice, can seem overwhelming in their scope—there’s so much work that needs to be done to enact social progress that it’s easy to feel like your voice does not matter. But your voice does matter, and it can be most effective when you figure out how a large goal, like racial equality, overlaps with another issue you already support. For example, if you are passionate about mental health, you can donate to or volunteer with organizations that provide mental health services and resources to a marginalized community.

Whether or not you earn the label “ally,” you can choose how you want to show up and embody what allyship means to spread awareness and be part of the change your community needs.

Being an ally at work

Now that you know what allyship looks like in the world, it may feel harder to be an ally in the workplace. How can we be allies at work despite fears we may have of ruffling feathers or, in the absolute worst case, losing our jobs?

Being an ally means supporting a culture of inclusion in every arena you are in. And given how much time we spend in the office or doing work, it’s essential that we use our voice and action to foster more inclusion in those spaces.

Journalist and radio producer Stephanie Foo tells us tells us how:

  • Pay attention to whether you are a person of privilege in your workplace. Privilege can be defined by your race, gender, or class, or by any favoritism extended your way. If you are in a position of privilege, you can make a potential positive impact by using your voice to support marginalized voices around you.
  • Be respectful to everyone. Whether or not you directly work with someone, be respectful of other peoples’ identities, roles, and time. For example, learn the correct gender pronouns your co-workers use and be careful of vague, irrelevant language that reinforces stereotypes (e.g. “likeable” for women, “articulate” for Black people).
  • Show your support for others’ ideas and work. In meetings, acknowledge the contributions of people who hold less privilege than yourself and actively invite them to participate. For instance, clearly point out good ideas or include marginalized co-workers in meetings and conversations by asking for their opinions.
  • Clearly give credit where it’s due. If a marginalized co-worker contributed to your work or a project in any way, openly acknowledge it.
  • Talk about your salary. Salary transparency is important for negotiations, especially for marginalized co-workers who can then ensure pay parity.
  • Mentor marginalized people if you hold a position of power.
  • Don’t condone bad behavior. If you see a marginalized co-worker being harassed, intervene in any way you can. Find a way to distract the harasser to defuse the situation or mediate. Take the time to check in with your co-worker and, if the situation calls for HR intervention, offer your support.

Recommended reading

The cornerstone of allyship is empathy, so it’s important to keep educating yourself on the history, issues, and possible solutions that are relevant to promoting inclusion and equality.

Here are some books to add to your summer reading list to get started:

  • Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Have you been thinking more about your role as an ally? Or do you have advice for others? Share with us on Facebook.

Director of SF’s Trans Initiatives shares how to be an ally

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility, dedicated to honor and empower the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.

The day comes at a time when lawmakers around the country are passing legislation that puts limits on trans people especially kids, everything from medical care to playing youth sports.

Only one city in the whole country has a trans-led city government office – San Francisco.

“We’re seeing it widespread across the country continue to roll back against transgender rights, and specifically targeting young people in terms of accessing restroom or support, just like any other kid wants to access,” Farley said. “These are often perpetuated by fear and hatred, and so we all need to do our part to stand up against it.”

Farley said San Francisco is enforcing a travel ban for city-funded trips to states with anti-LGBT laws and with any contracts that are passing the bill, building up on the legislation implemented by former Mayor Ed Lee.

In honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, San Francisco also launched the “Show your Pride! Get Vaccinated” campaign to improve access to COVID-19 vaccine for the LGBTQ+ community, especially hit hard by the pandemic.

Today is #TDOV. Show up for Trans rights!
Black & Latinx trans & GNC communities have been hard hit by the pandemic. Join us to raise visibility and take action towards vaccine equity.
Together we can keep our communities safe. #GetVaccinated #VaccinePride https://t.co/NQTBvOAdHN pic.twitter.com/rmKH7Dmy5N

— SF Office of Transgender Initiatives (@TransCitySF) March 31, 2021

To find out more about how you can take action and be an ally, click here.

For more information on getting vaccinated in San Francisco, click here.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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  • What is an Ally?

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, an ally is someone “joined with another for a common purpose.”

Being an ally with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) individuals is the process of working to develop individual attitudes, institutions, and culture in which LGBTQIA people feel they are valued. This work is motivated by an enlightened self-interest to end homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and cisgenderism (J. Jay Scott and Vernon Wall, 1991).

An ally is a person who works both to facilitate the development of all students around issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and to improve the experience of LGBTQIA people. Allies can identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, cisgender, intersex, queer, questioning, or heterosexual. The University of Illinois has several Ally networks. Allies are invited to join any and all that seem appropriate. And if there isn’t a group that fits you, please talk to Leslie Morrow about starting one.

Persons affiliated with the ally network can be identified by the Ally Network posters. This network includes queer-friendly and queer-identified faculty, staff and students who provide safe space and support for the LGBTQIA campus community.

An ally to LGBTQIA individuals is a person who:

  • Believes that it is in their self-interest to be an ally to LGBTQIA individuals.
  • Has worked to develop an understanding of LGBTQIA issues. Works to be comfortable with their knowledge of gender identity and sexual orientation
  • Is comfortable saying the words “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual,” and “transgender.”
  • Works to understand how patterns of oppression operate, and is willing to identify oppressive acts and challenge the oppressive behaviors of others.
  • Works to be an ally to all oppressed groups.
  • Finds a way that feels personally congruent to confront /combat homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and cisgenderism.
  • Similar to how an LGBTQIA person “comes out of the closet,” an ally “comes out” as an ally by publicly acknowledging her/his support for LGBTQIA people and issues.
  • Chooses to align with LGBTQIA individuals, and represents their needs — especially when they are unable to do so themselves.
  • Expects to make some mistakes and does not give up when things become discouraging.
  • Promotes a sense of community with LGBTQIA individuals, and teaches others about the importance of these communities. Encourages others to also provide advocacy.
  • Is aware that they may be called the same names and be harassed in similar ways to those whom they are defending. Whenever possible, a heterosexual ally avoids “credentializing,” which involves disclosing their heterosexual identity in order to avoid negative or unpleasant assumptions or situations.
  • Works to address/confront individuals without being defensive, sarcastic, or threatening.