What does it mean to be an Ally at Ivey?

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As a member of the Ivey community you will hear a lot about Allyship, but first of all, what is an Ally? As defined by PeernetBC, allyship is:

“an active, consistent, and challenging practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to work in solidarity with a marginalized group”

As a member of the Ivey community, Allyship isn’t easy. Many of us hold our beliefs strongly and are taught to defend them in the classroom. To be an Ally, we have to always be re-evaluating these beliefs in order to work with and stand in solidarity with marginalized groups. To do this, it is important to remember a few responsibilities we have to ourselves and our classmates.

1.     Act out of Responsibility, not guilt:

 As a member of Ivey, practicing Allyship is not because of guilt, but a responsibility to our classmates and everyone around us. As a section and a community, we have a responsibility to make Ivey a place where we all feel included and celebrated.

2.     Acknowledge our privileges and openly discuss them:

Members of our community must acknowledge our privileges, recognizing what we have in common but understand the many different paths we have traveled to get here. Understanding we all have distinct lived experiences allows reflection on what we need to improve upon as a community.

3.     Listen more and speak less:

 As Ivey students we are taught to contribute frequently and passionately in the classroom, but as an Ally we have a responsibility to listen. Holding back our opinions and listening to the people we seek to work with ensures all voices are recognized.

4.     Build our capacity to receive criticism:

Understanding that we all make mistakes is critical. However, we must be able to be honest and accountable for our mistakes. If you say something during contribution that gets called out, use it as an experience to learn and grow. These experiences are a gift that allow us to continue allyship and allow us to do things differently in the future.

5.     Embrace the emotions that come out of the process of allyship:

Being an ally can be uncomfortable. Your existing beliefs may be challenged and further changed by your classmates. Embrace these emotions and continue to support those around you. 

6.     Do not expect awards or special recognition:

As an ally, don’t expect to be recognized for your contribution to others. Allyship is integral to our community, but not more important than the issues that marginalized groups live with every day. Recognize that Allyship exists because of issues many members of our community face. To be an Ally means you stand in solidarity, not expecting anything from it, but doing it anyways because you care for the people around you.

Understanding who we are as an Ally and the responsibilities we hold is integral to the Ivey community. We all have opportunities to practice allyship every day and doing so is a strong first step in fostering inclusivity and diversity amongst our peers.

By: Spencer Ashby