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An ally takes seven forms: the sponsor, champion, amplifier, advocate, scholar, upstander, and confidant.

The sponsor works as someone who vocally supports the work from underrepresented groups and specifically helps boost people’s standing and reputations. One can act like a sponsor by talking about the expertise you see in others, recommend people for stretch assignments and learning opportunities, and share colleagues’ career goals with influencers.

A champion is someone who willingly defer to people from underrepresented groups in situations where they are not given a voice. One can take on the role of a champion by directing questions about topics to employees with subject-matter expertise rather than answering the questions yourself and advocating more for members of underrepresented groups as speakers.

The amplifier is someone who works to ensure that marginalized communities’ voices are heard. They can act as an amplifier by inviting others to speak, or even sticking up for someone in an underrepresented community and giving them credit.

An advocate uses their influence to hold their peers accountable for including everyone. One can act like an advocate by introducing peers from underrepresented groups to your own circle.

The scholar seeks to educate themselves on the challenges faced by marginalized groups. They will investigate and find all sorts of credible media by and about relevant information on an underrepresented group.

The upstander is the opposite of a bystander. You can become an upstander by speaking up if you witness behavior that offends or hurts an individual or community.

The last form of an ally is the confidant.  This is someone who creates a safe space.  The confidant listens to others’ experiences, beliefs, and helps people from underrepresented groups feel protected.

Get educated! 

Please take the time to educate yourself! You need to know the story before you can jump into action. Do your own research to learn about the history of the moment you want to ally with. You do so by turning to credible books, documentaries, and other news sources. Be up to date on what has been done before, what has worked, and what still needs progress.  

Listen!

As an ally your job is to listen and learn. To best understand how to help communities impacted by oppression you need to listen to what they are saying. If your friends who are a part of marginalized communities reach out to you and engage with you on the subject of  dicrimination, listen to them and offer support where appropriate. Most importantly try to approach situations as “what can I do for you.” 

Show up!

Take time to go to protests, rallys, presentations, and support your friends/family/peers in communities being affected.

Speak out!

If you are a person with certain privileges you have access to social circles that marginalized communities do not always have, you can take this opportunity to speak up within your social circles to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. 

Welcome discomfort!

Understand that certain privileges that you may have and others do not.  When you own up to your privilege you can see how it impacts others.  With this in mind the important thing is to acknowledge when you’re wrong and to not make those mistakes again.  Welcome failure, but learn from it.  The best allies acknowledge what they did wrong and correct their actions. 

Do not be a “performative ally!”

Australian journalist Monisha Rudhran defines performative allyship as “the practice of words, posts and gestures that do more to promote an individual’s own virtuous moral compass than actually helping the causes that they’re intending to showcase.” In sum it is when someone uses the struggles of another to make themselves look like a better or more moral person.  Be conscious of posting on social media and ask yourself: are you posting this because it’s with the intention of being a true ally, or because it will make you look good?

Donate/support where you can!

Regularly make commitments to support local organizations working for social justice in your community.  Remember that a little can go a long way. 

Understand that you are not alone!

One person will not end oppression by themselves, but together we can work to build support, establish networks, and work with established groups. 

First year with her campus Junior at MSU Economics major with minors in Quotative Data Analytics and Italian