Monday, April 19, 2010

If you do one thing today...

by Stacey Prince

Dear Allies,

If you do one thing today to work on your allyship skills, I hope it will be to watch this brief, 13 minute video. It contains excerpts from the keynote speech given by Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas / Austin at the 17th Annual Emerging Scholarship in Women’s and Gender Studies Conference in February of 2010. Dr. Jones suggests 6 rules for allies (across ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, etc.). The rules include going beyond being “liberal” (being willing to be a warrior for equality), speaking up and naming injustice when you see it, never asking a person in an oppressed group to “be patient,” recognizing the new, more subtle and insidious forms of racisim/sexism/homophobia (as opposed to some of the more overt and egregious forms of discrimination in the past), welcoming the feedback when someone calls you out on your own racism/sexism/homophobia, and considering the transgressive power of alternative, non-traditional modalities and strategies to undo systems of oppression.

But please don’t take my word for it, and just watch this 13 minute video--Dr. Jones elaborates on these rules for allies with power, humor and passion. Her words inspire and challenge without shaming. The transcript is great, too (and contains material not given in the excerpted video) but the video is terrific. We are all allies to someone… I hope you’ll check this out.

To view video click here.

To view transcript click here.

1 comment:

  1. What a humbling and grounding speech for us all. Thank you for sharing this with us -- the one area that I tend to lose focus on is my identity as an Ally, where I hold most privilege, and when I am caught up in my own mind/Ego/stress, my tunnel vision becomes even more narrow.