How To Be An Ally Essay

608 Words3 Pages
The article How to Be an Ally by Frances E. Kendall resonated with me because I often struggle with calling myself an ally. Although Kendall frames allyship in the context of white people, her tips are applicable to everyone, including people of color, who want to take part in social change. In many ways, I already consider myself an ally. However, I have room to improve. The community in which is I find myself to be a very active ally is the undocumented community. My family and I are first generation immigrants who have the privilege of being documented. However, after taking classes in the Labor and workplace minor, I started to understand just how privileged I was. I did not know it at the time, but this acknowledgement coupled with my interest in earning about and helping the undocumented community within and outside UCLA marked the beginning of me learning what it means to be an ally. However, I have a…show more content…
Now, I hesitate to use the word. Being an ally is not an identity. Rather, I define it more through the habits that make me an ally. My lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistently advocating for a cause and holding myself and others accountable is what defines an ally for me. I have learned that in social justice work where I have privilege and I am helping a marginalized group, I often approached the situation with an underlying savior complex. I assumed that the people I helped through various volunteer organizations needed me to survive. Now I realize that my job as a privileged ally is not to take space. It is to help empower the marginalized undocumented immigrants by providing them with resources I have access too, doing the background work for campaigns, and allowing them to be the face of the movement. Therefore, I cannot allow my work as an ally to be self-defined. This community has to recognize me, my work, and my efforts before I seek validation about my
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