How to be an Ally, Step 4: There is no middle ground in being an ally

For individuals: Educate yourself. Learn the history of racism in our country. Do not expect your friends/colleagues of color to educate you. Understand terminology like white privilege, microaggressions, & unconscious bias. Learn why you should not say that you are “color blind”. Understand why Amy Cooper weaponizing her white privilege was so dangerous.

For organizations: Create an effective DEI strategy:

Understand your starting point: Don’t guess. Use actual qualitative & quantitative data on your current DEI state as the foundation for an effective strategy that will drive change. Without substantive data, you are guessing. DEI has to be addressed the same way as any other part of your business strategy

Leverage the data: Create an overall DEI strategy & implementation plan from the data. Include timelines & benchmarks. Embed benchmarks in your performance review process for leadership. Mandate DEI training for all levels.

Fund it: DEI is the last to be funded and the first to be cut. You must see DEI as part of your overall business strategy. It is not a cost center. It must be an integral part of your business plan.

There is much that individuals and organizations need to do to address issues of DEI. And we all have a responsibility to do so. If you are going to be an ally, do the work and be an effective ally. As Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” You either are an ally or you are not. There is no middle ground.


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