Recently, Shawn Coon, a Ph.D. student, graduate assistant, and adjunct faculty member at Westminster College of Education, spoke about becoming an ally. He specifically spoke about allyship for women in the workplace, but his thoughts and insights can transfer to anyone. He shared how allyship can help women gain the successes they deserve. Allyship is the process of using one’s privilege to help those without it, specifically groups of historically marginalized people. How might one do this, you might ask? Shawn Coon gave many examples in how this can be done. In order to become an ally:

  • Listen, support, self-reflect and change
  • Advocate and assist
  • Realize the impact of stereotypes and microaggressions
  • Believe marginalized people’s experiences
  • Say something

Coon made it a point to say that allyship must look however the women needs and wants it to look. It is not up to the ally. This is when listening and self-reflection is key. Coon then stressed the importance of allyship. He said that we are all the business leaders of tomorrow. We must make it a better and easier place for others.

“The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. ― James Baldwin

Author: McKenna Evans