the Western New York 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge Day 18

day 18: being an ally

EThe dictionary definition of ally is “a person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity.” In today’s society, the term has taken on a more urgent and active meaning, however it is often misunderstood or misused to imply good intentions, often without action or with action for unproductive reasons. For this reason, ally or allyship can be triggering terms for those who experience racism, oppression, and discrimination on a regular basis. Informed action is important for those who strive to be genuine allies with marginalized people and communities. 

According to Amélie Lamont in the guide in Activity 1, being an ally doesn’t necessarily mean you fully understand what it feels like to be oppressed. It means you’re taking on the struggle as your own, and adding your voice or action alongside those who are oppressed. Being anti-racist is not a spectator sport, nor is it an individual activity. It requires recognizing and owning the privilege that you hold, to help carry the weight of oppression for, and in collaboration with, others. 

There is a place for each of us in this work. As you complete today’s challenge activities reflect on how you can become an informed ally? What are concrete ways that you can practice allyship in your daily life?


  1. Read Amélie Lamont’s “Guide to Allyship.” (7 minutes)
  2. Watch “5 Tips For Being An Ally.” (3 minutes)
  3. Read “The Role of ‘Privileged’ Allies in the Struggle for Social Justice.” (10 minutes)


DAY 19: Tools for the Racial Equity Change Process


Back to Day 17

Back to Pre-Challenge