Tag Archives: allyship

Day Four: the YWCA

ywcaFor this entry, there’s a caveat. I work part-time at the YWCA in our secondhand store, My Sister’s Closet. Fxmmes, if you’re ever in need of cheap work clothes, we have a pretty awesome selection. More info on that in this article by my wonderful and talented best friend.

Though the YWCA is a national organization, each local chapter chooses their service areas based on the area’s needs. For the YWCA of Central Alabama, those four areas are domestic violence services, childcare, affordable housing, and social justice. These programs serve both the heart of the city and the rural areas that surround it.

With a powerful member of Trump’s proposed cabinet accused of domestic violence and who has actively expressed anti-semitic, misogynistic, generally hateful rhetoric, it’s more important to put energy and focus on the good, unsexy work being done to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. That is, after all, the YWCA’s mission.

If you have any questions about the organization, I’ll do my best to answer. Get involved by volunteering, even for a couple hours a week or for special events, or donate.

If you’re ever in need of domestic violence services, call 205-322-4878.

This is part of a series on organizations that will fight tooth and nail to protect the rights of all. If you are looking for resources on allyship other than organizations you can support, check out this list.

 

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Day One: Allyship

Not enough.

Since the election, a lot of people have been posting about wearing safety pins as an outward indication that you’re an ally. For some, it’s the first step they’ve ever taken towards allyship, which is cool. But a symbol without action, is no longer enough. It may have been co-opted as a symbol of solidarity per this Facebook post. If you wear one, make a plan about how you will react when (not if, when) you see injustice. Isobel Debrujah has a lot of information on how to get started.

If you want to be an ally, please don’t ask your People of Color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, people of faith, people of no faith, and Othered communities. And for the love of everything holy, don’t tone police them, especially not in this time of grief.

One tough thing to keep in mind: Being an ally isn’t about you. It’s not about shouting your views from the rooftops, it’s about your actions. And yes, I recognize my privilege and the irony in posting on my personal blog about how to be an ally. There’s not much more I can say on that end, so on to the resources:

  • If you see something happening, this video has a great plan of action for how to reaction.
  • Everyday Feminism has a tag on how to be an ally or a better ally. This page is updated regularly. They also published an article on How To Be A Proactive Ally.
  • Christopher Keelty does some good work on Medium about easy ways to become an ally to non-White groups. Spoiler alert: speak the hell up.
  • For a hard read on how not to treat Women of Color, check out Shannon Barber‘s “Dear White Ladies.”
  • Need some ways to start working on racial justice? Showing Up For Racial Justice has resources for you.
  • Scared for your Muslim friends? Follow CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They’ll be featured separately soon.
  • Check out the Trans* Ally Workbook to challenge what you know about gender.
  • For a heaping dose of body positivity, check out Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham.
  • If you feel alone, join the Facebook group White Nonsense RoundupThis group was founded “by white people to address our inherently racist society and stand up against racism in our own families, work spaces, and communities. We believe it is our responsibility to call out white friends, relatives, contacts, speakers, and authors who are contributing to structural racism and harming our friends of color.”
  • Call your representatives’ offices. Let them know that the civil rights of every human in their district are a priority in how you’ll vote. When election day comes around, get to your polling place and cast your ballot.

Edited at 19:30 CST on 11/13/16 to include a link on making a plan for how to be an ally. Thanks to Anna Lisa Ciaccio for the link! Edit: 11/13/16 21:43 CST to include calling representatives. Edit: 11/14/16 20:21 CST to include 5 Ways To Combat Racism video. 23:37 CST first graf edited for tone.

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Filed under BlogLikeCrazy, Social Justice