Ally is a Verb!



Written by David King (he/him/his)

David is an HR Advocate: “ Learning and Development is what I love to do, it’s my core driver - challenging and disrupting my own thinking and re-learning; and empowering others to embrace Life Long Learning. Completed my service in the Corporate world, now as an escapee, I’m a free agent to make the world a better place 😊”
 

I am a white heterosexual South African male, not your obvious poster person for Diversity and Inclusion, nonetheless I might just use this disadvantage to my advantage.

I am not an expert. I am sharing my lived experience and my call to action, even though I’m going to get it wrong and stuff up (countless times). It’s going to get messy, but I’m committed.

Definition: Ally, a person or group that gives help to another person or group (of Latin origin, meaning “to bind together”


When I first came across the term allyship, it resonated immediately, I love nothing better than to be initially surprised by a new term and then to be challenged by this very term. Insights https://www.insights.com/products/insights-discovery/ and Enneagram https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/ are 2 examples of assessments, which have given me much direction and clarity on my strengths; and how others see me (..more about that in my next article...hint hint Editor 😊) I learnt that I tend to avoid negativity, pain and struggle, as I am a fun-loving-enthusiastic- innovative-strategic-optimists. So, I knew I had to lean into the discomfort which I wished to avoid, as that is where I would shine and hopefully be able to make a difference.


Discovering the quote, “Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice” finally entrenched the meaning of D&I for me, and then “Getting comfortable being uncomfortable” catapulted me on a mission to bring about awareness.

As this is only the start of my formal awakening, I wish to share some of my learning from ‘experts’ further on their journey or those that have lived a discriminated experience (hint hint Editor…I’m feeling a part 2… 😊)


Thank you to these and countless others that I will meet, watch, read and listen to along the way.

Here are some that have impacted me to date:

WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3D-5-2EqHI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmN1_Bsb0FE

https://www.ted.com/talks/melinda_epler_3_ways_to_be_a_better_ally_in_the_workplace

https://www.ted.com/talks/nita_mosby_tyler_want_a_more_just_world_be_an_unlikely_ally

READ:

https://theantioppressionnetwork.com/allyship/

https://www.newsweek.com/dear-white-people-empty-allyship-contributes-loss-black-lives-opinion-1586591

https://www.idealist.org/en/careers/allyship-at-work-actions


Take the time to learn and absorb their message.

I’m on journey to improve, to be challenged, to get better, to make progress. I will fail, and ask for forgiveness, and request a deeper understanding. Damn it, I’m going to it say…to make the world a better place 😊.

“If you have some power, it’s your job to empower somebody else.” Thanks, Toni Morrison, for the call to action (Ally is a verb)!


David King (he/him/his)

HR Advocate and Ally Journey participant

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