Welcome from Karla

Throughout the different iterations of this company (and yes, there have been a few) the core message and purpose has always been the same: To create a site that allows us and our customers more opportunities to speak up about and support causes, organizations and groups we are passionate about and that could use additional support.

In the beginning, I have to admit I was a little naive about what that really meant. I didn’t know what the best ways to help and speak up really were, especially when it came to advocating for groups or organizations I didn’t have a direct connection to and was seeing from the outside. Before a few years ago, I’m not even sure I had really heard the term “ally” before.

I think the Black Lives Matter movement and several other groups advocating for marginalized communities have done a lot in the past few years to really educate us on what it means to be an ally and how we as outsiders can best support a movement or cause. I have done so much reading and learning in the last year and the more I have learned, the more I wanted to pass on that knowledge and amplify the voices of those I have learned from to others.

As I learn, I continue to make mistakes. Being an ally is not at all what I thought it was. I had to learn about vulnerability first:

I had to stop pretending I was an authentic ally for all causes that angered me but I had not yet done the research to truly understand the deep rooted impact it had on those affected.

I did not realize that I had to be free of my own demons of shame, guilt and failing to acknowledge my privilege before I could truly immerse myself in helping others.

I also had to recently accept that I hadn’t even been a vocal ally for a community I was a part of, because I was ashamed to be counted among its numbers. I recently came forward about my own story of sexual assault, something I don’t know if I could have done if not for this journey into allyship. 

Vulnerability at its deepest level only came about when I was truly ready to trust others and believe people at their core are kind, non-judgment and want to be supportive. It took me years on this journey even to be able to tell my own story. In telling it, I could better focus on giving back to sexual assault centres’ volunteers and staff – those that help women 24/7 every day of the year. They are needed to listen to women who are experiencing shock , denial, shame, anger, sadness, and confusion.

I also know that my learning is not over. As I continue to rethink systemic bias that has been ingrained in all of us in our culture and change my approach and behaviors, I know I will continue to make mistakes and will need to continue standing back to listen. I wanted to encourage members of this amazing Stand Up Speak Up community to come along and learn with me. So, along with my team, I created this workshop featuring videos, articles and exercises that have really helped me in my own journey to allyship.

I hope that you will approach it with an open heart and mind. This work is not easy. And you will not find all of the answers to being an ally here. I just hope we can all learn together and this will open you up to some amazing voices that are doing advocacy work everyday.

Thank you for taking this journey with me!

-Karla xo

Table of Contents

We have presented Allyship 101 in eight parts. We recommend taking them in order, as some of the information does build off previous parts. 

  • One of the keys to effective allyship is self reflection and being able to assess your own feelings, actions and goals. Take this quiz to see where you are at right now in terms of your openness, excitement, hesitation or fear.
PART 2: WHAT IS AN ALLY? (10 minutes)
  • An intro into the concepts explored in this module
  • Intro to the Guide to Allyship
  • Video: 5 Tips for Being an Ally from Franchesca Ramsey
  • The tools and practices of effective listening
  • Video: What happens when I talk race with white people with Renni Eddo-Lodge
PART 4: WHAT IS PRIVILEGE? (10 minutes)
  • Explanation of privilege and intersectionality
  • Wheel of Power and Privilege
  • Video: What Is Privilege? from Buzzfeed
  • A look at why we commonly fail to acknowledge and accept our own privilege
  • Video: Dr. Joy DeGruy: Cracking the Codes 
  • Infographic: Kinds of Privilege
  • 3 barriers you might encounter while being an ally
  • Video: Why Do You Think Stereotypes are True by Decoded
  • Video: Advice for White People from Anti-Racism Trainer by NowThis
  • Video: Prince Harry Didn’t Understand Unconscious Bias Until Living a Day in Megan’s Shoes by ET Canada
  • List of red flags for performative social media posts
  • Video: What Is Performative Allyship? by Seventeen Magazine
  • Video: Turn Performative Wokeness into Allyship by Jezebel
  • 4 results of different actionable allyship roles
  • One reflection to take with you through your allyship work 
  • Link to resources used as well as additional reading suggestions
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