EBDN Event: How to be an Ally

On September 11, 2019 the group met together after a summer break. The room vibrated with chatter and energy as members filtered in and mingled with connections new and old. September often feels like a new start and a new year – and our event was no different. The focus was on taking action.

“The word ally is a verb – saying you’re an ally is not enough, you have to do the work.” 

Our very own Erin Davis and Jill Chesley, Current and Past Chairs of EBDN, shared learnings and led a very practical conversation on how to be an ally.

We started with looking inward – it starts with “me”. How do we experience the world? What privileges or benefits do I get as a result of who I am that I never asked for? They expertly closed the table discussions and sharing noting that we don’t need to apologize for having privilege – it’s about what we do or don’t do with it.

So what is an ally? An ally is someone who is not a member of an underrepresented or marginalized group but takes action to support that group. What that action might look like, will be different for each of us.

How can we show up as allies?

  • Do no harm – get to know people, listen and learn, jump in with respectful curiosity
  • Advocate in small ways – intervene, hold space for others to speak, take away the spotlight for marginalized groups to advocate for themselves
  • Create a big change – take action + jump all in

Below are links to both the videos that were shared with tips on how to be an ally. Where will you be sharing them?

Thank you to the City of Edmonton, TD Bank and Argus Machine Co. Ltd. for sponsoring this event.

2019-09 how to be an ally

Jill Chesley and Erin Davis presenting to EBDN Members on how to be an Ally.