“Allyship” – is a noun … the definition of allyship is the state or condition of being an ally: supportive association with another person or group.
Years ago, someone who mentored me in the diversity and inclusion space taught me this phrase:
“You don’t have to be one to stand with.”
Nine powerful words. The message is simple but its impact is profound. It is essentially saying, “I don’t have to have your lived experience to stand with you in the face of
It is the reason Christians protected praying Muslims in Egypt during violent protests. It’s the reason days later, a group of Muslims returned the gesture. It’s the reason that neighbors in Orange County, California, created a neighborhood watch to guard the home of a Chinese family being harassed. It’s the reason African American along with Asian American communities in Oakland, California, worked together to build a bridge of healing and understanding to manage the siege of racism toward the Asian and Asian American communities that exploded in the United States during the pandemic.
You don’t have to be one to stand with sounds easy but sometimes we don’t know how. As a certified diversity and inclusion consultant, our company Culture Creative works with companies and organizations throughout Michigan, the United States, and abroad to expand the cultural bandwidth and provide the following (3) Three Actions of An Ally:
- Find the Common Ground: Discover the space to engage in the commonality of our shared human experiences.
- Fight Injustice with Tangible Justice: Go beyond hashtags and find a way to actually help. Ask what can I do to be supportive?
- Feel the Pain of the Oppressed: Tap into empathy and step into the shoes of the hurting to consider how it might feel if it were you.
None of us can do everything. But all of us can do something.
What is something that you can do today to become an ally?
It doesn’t have to be your lived experience.
It doesn’t have to be your neighborhood.
It doesn’t have to be your family.
It doesn’t have to be you.
You don’t have to be one to stand with.
Stand with them. Stand with me. Let me stand with you.
A quote that I often reference to help me build more cultural bandwidth and empathy is from the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller. He said “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Let’s stand together.
We all fall when we don’t.
About Julian S. Newman
Julian Newman, founder and CEO of Culture Creative, is a certified diversity, equity, and inclusion thought leader. Recently, Julian was honored by Grand Rapids Community College at their annual GIANT Awards. Earlier this year Julian was named a Diversity & Inclusion Leader of the Year, along with comedian and host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah, at the Inaugural Anthem Awards.
As a cultural intelligence strategist, author, and motivational speaker, Julian has spoken to more than an estimated 100,000 people nationally and internationally during the past 20 years, including recent talks at Google and Advertising Week. He and his team at Culture Creative have worked with advertising agency Leo Burnett, United Nations (UN) Women, and Michigan State, along with corporate, tech, and philanthropic organizations worldwide.
Julian is a proud Girl Dad of four lovely daughters and advocate for women’s empowerment. He is an altMBA graduate and graduated from Compass College of Film and Media, has published writings in various media outlets, and been featured on NPR and Fox News affiliates. Julian will be releasing his first book,
Beautiful Together, in 2023. Learn more at www.culturecreative.tv.