Becoming a White Ally

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Becoming a White Ally

Lisa Landreman
Photo by fotologic

Who are you
& What do you want to learn?

Photo by harold.lloyd

Learning Goals

  • Understand the cycle of socialization and White privilege
  • Understand what it means to be an ally
  • Understand the journey to becoming an ally
  • Commit to a personal action toward becoming a better ally

Working Assumptions

  • Communities are built through commitment and relationships
  • We are doing the best we can most of the time
  • Oppression is pervasive and we all play a role in keeping it in place
  • Growth happens. It takes time.
  • Love, hope, humility, connection, and forgiveness are key to our liberation

Brave Space

  • Listen with Curiosity
  • Speak with Brevity
  • Use the Personal
  • Make Room for Emotions
  • Take Responsibility


"Who am I? The answer depends in large part on who the world around me says I am."
-Beverly Daniel Tatum

Who Am I?

Untitled Slide

"We are socialized into a system of social oppression through interactions with individuals, institutions, and culture."
-Hardiman, Jackson, & Griffin

Unearned access to resources (social power) only readily available to some people based on their advantaged social group membership.

Exploring Whiteness

  • What were you taught to believe about White people?
  • How were you taught to interact with people who were not White?
  • What were you taught about how White people thought about school/work?
  • What & how where you taught about how White people dealt with strong feelings?

What does it mean to be an Ally?

Allies are members of a dominant group who act against oppression toward a vision of social justice

Photo by zilverbat.

Tensions of Being an Ally

Photo by SonOfJordan

For the White Person
Who Wants to know How to be my Friend

"First thing you do is to forget that I'm Black.
Second, you must never forget that I'm Black."
--Pat Parker

Photo by mcmortygreen

What makes being an ally difficult?

Photo by zetson

Journey to becoming an ally

Get Clear on your Motivation

  • Ally for Self-Interest
  • Ally for Altruism
  • Ally for Social Justice
Photo by Ame Otoko

Tracking - Noticing Patterns

  • What differences are present?
  • Who speaks? Who is silent?
  • Who interrupts whom?
  • Who has eye contact with whom?
  • Who expresses feelings?
  • Who shuts down?
  • Who is being talked about?
  • What patterns do you see?

Addressing Racism

  • Paraphrase what's heard
  • Ask for more information
  • Express empathy
  • Provide accurate information
  • Encourage empathy
  • Highlight commonalities
  • Appeal to values
  • Share your own process

Liberatory Consciousness is to live with consciousness and intentionality…to live with awareness of oppression without giving in to despair or hopelessness, to maintain awareness without blaming others while working to change systems (Love, 2000)

Photo by 55Laney69

Doing the Work

  • Self-awareness and healing
  • Understand oppression
  • Notice and analyze
  • Learn from history, voices, mistakes
  • Discuss, reflect, practice skills
  • Support leaders of color
  • Develop authentic relationships
  • Align intention, skills and action

What's your plan to becoming a better ally?

Photo by Ally Mauro

"If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

Photo by Saint Huck

Lisa Landreman

Haiku Deck Pro User