Making Sense of Allyship

The concept of allyship is on lots of people’s minds right now. At my most optimistic, the focus on community during the global lockdown and the demand for proactive allyship, in the face of, what I hope is, the death rattle of prejudice, brings me the belief that we’re heading in the right direction.

However, I understand that there are those of you who want to find out more about how to be an effective ally, without making the issues around race, gender, sexuality, disability, class or age about you. Having spent months talking and writing about the increased racism that I and other East Asians across the world have experienced due to fears and views of Covid-19, I acknowledge that I am privileged as British Born Chinese woman that I do not face the same level of aggression or fear that my Black peers face. As a heterosexual, cis-female, I have the privilege of people not calling to question those parts of my identity.

It’s OK that we are privileged; what are we going to do with it?

These events are in response to the demand of more people wanting to address and use their privilege to help others. I understand that this can be a huge reality and identity shift, so in order to do my part, if you want to have a conversation about what it means to be an ally, I’d be happy to help.

This is open to 100 people per session because Zoom says so. My intention here is not to preach or educate but to give people a space to explore and reflect on what kind of ally they want to be. I am not going to pretend to be an expert or that I know what it’s like to be anyone other than myself, a British-born Chinese, heterosexual woman from a working class background, with a history of poor mental health. I am, however, going to do my best to facilitate a curious, compassionate and courageous conversation for anyone who wants to explore this with me. Where possible, I will bring in voices other than mine.

I am volunteering my time and services for these events – because I feel like this is the right thing to do. My intention is to just run these three sessions – I have no idea how much these will take out of me or what the response will be like. We’ll see what happens! In case you’d like to know how the sessions might operate, have a look at the below PDFs – the second is in monochrome for those of you with visual impairments.

Admission is free, providing you have completed the registration form. The data I collect here is purely to manage numbers and safety of all participants – they will not go into any kind of mailing list. If you want to support me, then your attendance and future action is enough. I can promise you that there’s no sales pitch at any point. If you want to do your bit to make the world a safer place for more people, then that’s plenty for me right now.

Thanks for reading this and hope we’ll speak soon.


Published by Lou Chiu

I help people and teams create curious, compassionate and courageous communities, as a coach, trainer, consultant and professional pragmatic optimist. Also, recovering workaholic, ally and advocate, generalist geek, and am usually amidst organised chaos.

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