Equity and Inclusion is an ongoing pursuit, and so should education about the issues. This section will focus on specific topics from a national and local level, provide insight from reputable news and education institutions as well as voices from our students and faculty.
Focus On: Ally
Historically speaking, the word ally has positive connotations; an ally is someone who has your back and will stand with you or for you in times of conflict or during a dispute. Most people like the idea of being considered an ally, but in the work of social justice, the word ally takes on a different meaning.
An ally is someone who uses their privileged social identities (male, straight, able-bodied, Christian, white, higher socioeconomic status) to stand against injustice and works to challenge the ideas and attitudes that contribute to oppression. An ally actively works to eliminate these attitudes and often has to speak out against peers who have similar social identities.
The most difficult thing about the word ally is that we can’t claim it as a title. We can work to learn how to think and behave like allies, but ultimately, whether or not we really are allies is determined by the marginalized people with whom we are trying to support and align ourselves. Working to think like and behave like an ally is hard work, and it requires relationships with people who are different so that we can learn what we do not know and then take action.