Mon. Sep 26th, 2022
How to be a more effective ally to those on the margin

What can you do to be a more effective ally to those on the margins?
Every day, marginalized groups work to end discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and disability. Suppose you are white, heterosexual, able-bodied, English-speaking, middle-to-upper class, or any combination thereof. In that case, you have a certain amount of privilege you may not realize you have in many areas of the globe, including Canada and the United States. For others, learning they have unnecessary benefits due to their identification may be upsetting, leading them to reject or feel guilty about those privileges. Neither of these reactions is helpful. Think instead about doing something to make society more equitable and fair by using your advantages. You may improve your status as an ally to underrepresented groups by following the advice below. Remember that being a good ally is a continuous procedure that requires you to have a teachable attitude and an eagerness to learn.

How to be a more effective ally to those on the margins

I’d want to have a conversation about privilege.
To begin with, could you define the term “privilege” for me? A privilege is “a unique right, benefit, or immunity given or accessible solely to a certain individual or group,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Social privilege may be based on factors such as race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, literacy, physical or mental capacity, language spoken at home and religious beliefs. If you want to improve as an ally to others who have fewer resources than you have, talking about your privilege is a great place to start.

Recognize your advantage and work to reduce it

Recently, the phrase “check your privilege” has gained widespread popularity on social media. This may be offensive to some listeners because they may interpret it as a suggestion that they are somehow too responsible for societal ills or that they haven’t worked hard enough for their successes in life. Instead, we might take the perspective that “with power comes duty” and work to improve our situation. As Mike Sliwa writes here, “Privilege has a price. This comes with the need to examine our privilege, take steps to reduce it, and [become] allies to those who bear the burden of its oppressive effects.

Check your assumptions, judgments, and biases.

What assumptions do you make about people who are different from you? If we’re being forthright with ourselves, we’ll also accept that we all have preconceived notions and assumptions about other people. Adults can challenge their own biases, which “are nearly invariably negative in nature since they produce connotations of superiority and inferiority.” Instead of reacting on autopilot, we can be more empathetic, respectful, and open-minded toward others.

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