What is an ally?

Well, to start, let’s talk about what an ally isn’t.

Why can’t we call ourselves allies? Allyship is a verb, and is an ongoing action. When you focus on your “allyship” as opposed to just labeling yourself an ally, it forces you to look at what work you are actually doing to support BIPOC.

So, why did we name ourselves Newtown Allies For Change? Our name refers to the work we do, not the members who join us. Our mission is to center BIPOC through community engagement and education, it is not to give people ally status and pats on the back. Our work is ongoing, and claiming that any one of our members has reached “ally level” means we are done with the work, and no one person is ever done with their ally journey.

There is always more to learn, more educational opportunities to dive into, and more self reflection that we can take part in to show allyship and that we are working in solidarity with BIPOC to create a better Newtown for all.

How can I practice allyship?

How can I practice allyship in Newtown?

What are some of the pitfalls that happen in allyship and how do I avoid them?

To do this work effectively (and to not harm the work), it is important that you understand common pitfalls. If you want to learn more about how to avoid taking part in any of the pitfalls above (and many others), please take the time to read Layla Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy, and be sure to participate in every journaling question at the end of each chapter. Layla does a great job helping the reader dive into each concept, and gives you a chance to see how you may be complicit in each, and how to make changes moving forward.

Create the change the world needs by creating change within yourself.

Layla Saad

It is so easy in this work to point your finger outward, and see the change that needs to happen in others and in society in general, but the most important thing you can do as an ally is to never stop educating yourself. There are so many great resources out there from books and articles to documentaries and podcasts. View our ally resources to find the one for you and get started on your educational journey to become a stronger ally.

Our local library has also done an amazing job to incorporate social justice in their schedule with webinars, book clubs and activities for youth. Visit the library’s events page and see what they have coming up!