Members of our U-M community have shared tips for allyhood. Take a look at the collection, and find out how to share some tips of your own at the bottom of the list!
If you see someone who needs help--reach out--even if you don't know the person.
It is YOUR responsibility as a growing ally to learn about the issues, but it is not the target community's responsibility to teach you.
Don't make assumptions.
Take risks, and don't be afraid to use your voice. I have found that in situations where I am most nervous about saying something, it's the most important times.
Be supportive without being aggressive. In regard to identities that someone might be sensitive about, try not to push them to talk about more than they are comfortable with. At the same time, try to be conscious of when they might be really interested in talking about it, but need you to start the conversation. You might check in on them so they have the space to talk if they want; try to do that gently. This has been my experience sometimes with supporting LGBT friends.
An ally recognizes and understands of patterns of oppression and is willing to take action against oppressive acts and behaviors.
Love Makes a Family.
Don't be afraid to challenge thinking nonviolently. This can be subtle or obvious -- with language, actions, and policy changes -- but they will make a huge difference.
You can be an ally by stopping insensitive comments and showing your friends that you are open to all identities, even if no one around you (or in your friend group) holds the targeted identity. By acting in an accepting way and interrupting comments like these, it’s bound to make a big difference for people around you. For example, it might give them the confidence to come out, or to interrupt behaviors that they are seeing. Wear an “ally” button on your backpack, put a “hate-free” sticker on your door – or just make sure that you make it clear to the people around you that you support all identities.
Find Common Ground. Listen. Affirm Respond and Add.