Allyship is a two way street – 5 points

Being an ally is a two-way street.

As a diversity, inclusion and equity consultant and trainer, one of the main topics that organizations are focusing on these days is allyship – the concept of supporting all diverse people in a positive way, helping build unity and respect.

One of my favorite consulting colleagues, Katherine Turner of Global Citizen, LLC wrote one of the best definitions of an ally: “An ally is a person with relative privilege and power who builds trusting relationships and acts in solidarity and with accountability to people and/or groups with marginalized identities without detracting from their power and voice.”

Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Microsoft’s (link to their allyship program info) Chief Diversity Officer, shares this definition, “An ally is somebody who intentionally engages with empathy and care to support someone else in the way which they would want to be supported.”

And given the complexity and intersectionality of each person’s unique diversity, we each have combinations of relative power and marginalization. At various times we can be allies, and at other times, need allies.

In training around allyship, I use materials from a large number of excellent industry consultants, but recently I developed some of my own original content, called “Allyship is two way street.” Here are the 5 major points:

1) Allies must show authentic full respect of all people and not do it a “patronizing” way or appearing “better than” the other person or group. All people are of equal value and worth, deserving of full dignity and validation.

2) We need to study and seek to understand with an open mind and without getting defensive, the historical perspective of “white imperialism” and “systems of oppression” and how they can impact the people we are working with.

3) We can use allyship as a way of building genuine diverse relationships. Just don’t talk – listen deeply and build a friendship.

4) That as allies, the relationship is not “one way.” We can gain rich gifts and insights from those we ally with.

5) We need to understand how being a strong and sensitive ally benefits us. Being a strong ally to diverse communities makes the world a better place for others and for ourselves as well.

You can google and find all kinds of resources about being an ally. I will leave you with this impactful 2 minute 15 second video (thanks to the company Salesforce for creating and publishing it) that demonstrates the power of allyship.

LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit Launching February 2020 with a Training of Trainers Session!

Coming very soon! A turnkey open source LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Training Solution to empower employees to provide meaningful training and dialogue within their companies.

NOTE: This blog is loaded with links – do explore them.

In January, I wrote a blog (link) about a project coordinated by Pride in the Triangle, a collaboration of Triangle, NC area LGBTQ+ employees and allies from various corporations coming together to share best practices, work together on LGBTQ+ issues in our corporations and in North Carolina, and network with other out employees and allies. You can link to this initial blog to get:
• The history of the project
• The goals of the LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit
• The contents of this total turnkey solution which will enable LGBTQ+ employees to set up and provide high quality trainings in their organizations.

We have also been actively soliciting sponsors to underwrite this work, and we thank these 5 generous sponsors:
• GOLD: SAS Institute and RTI International
• SILVER: BlueCross BlueShield NC, Dude Solutions and RW Baird – The Allman Bobbie Group

NOTE: Even though we are “Pride in the Triangle” in North Carolina, corporate sponsorship is welcomed from anywhere and you can still come to our area for the two-day “trainer of trainers.”

And though we have not reached our fundraising goal and still welcome additional sponsors, we have enough to start the work and commit to holding our training of trainers session on the SAS Institute Campus in Cary, North Carolina February 4 – 5, 2020.

Katherine Turner (left) of Global Citizen, LLC and myself from Total Engagement Consulting have been engaged to develop the toolkit and hold the trainer of trainers session.

The Training of Trainers, facilitated by Katherine Turner of Global Citizen, LLC and myself will be a robust 2-day training that will include:
• An overview of effective training skills
• A review of all the materials in the toolkit including going through all the slides
• “Teach backs” where participants will present parts of the presentation and give and receive feedback from other participants
• How to plan a session in your company, including engaging leadership, inviting employees, setting up a session timeline and more.

In addition to seats in the class being provided to the sponsors, we now have opened up registration to everyone. There is a class fee sliding scale from $449 – $849 based on non-profit / profit status and size of company. A $100 early bird discount is offered to all who register by October 31st. Check out the Registration Link for more details.

Space is limited, so do consider becoming a sponsor or enrolling in this training soon!

Please contact me to become a toolkit sponsor, or if you like to fund a scholarship to someone who may be unable to afford the fee. [email protected] 919-787-7315