Everyone has a story. Hear theirs.
We want to showcase the stories of real people,
who are brave enough to show why they are an ally.
People like you.
"I am an Ally because I believe everyone should be able to live life as their whole self. I am an Ally because everyone should have the opportunity to accomplish their goals and reach their potential -- regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status... I see a huge opportunity for us to do more as an HBA community to promote allyship and inclusiveness. We can educate more. We can advocate more. We can love more. We can do so, so much more to support our underrepresented student groups. That's why I started Ally@Ivey.
I plan to use Ally@Ivey as a platform to start an important dialogue about diversity and inclusion within our own community and the business world at-large. Every day at Ivey, we interact with future business leaders who will inevitably shape the world we live in. It's my goal to empower HBA students with knowledge and tools to build inclusive spaces and inspire them to advocate for positive social change during their HBA and beyond. #IAmAnAllyBecause society demands it of me, our community demands it of me, and I demand it from myself."
- Dannielle Sakher, Co-Founder
“I wasn't always the person I am today. I wasn't always an Ally. I can admit that I was part of the problem and sometimes I still am. But that's the thing about Allyship, you don't need to be perfect. Allyship is a life long commitment to ensuring you are working towards an inclusive society, by being aware of your thoughts and actions.
My perfect world is a world where the species comes before the description. Where our minds are free of prejudice and we see each other as equals. Where we don’t perceive anyone to be someone they’re not. I want to learn from you and build a deeper level of understanding. I want to know you, as you, and not what the media makes you to be.
#IAmAnAllyBecause I have made a commitment - to build a foundation of knowledge about Allyship, ensuring we leave our world better than it is. We can make a difference. We need to acknowledge our thoughts, talk about them and learn from each other."
- David DiBrina, Co-Founder
“I really think that no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you believe, your journey means something. The hardships you’ve faced and the battles you’ve won mean something. To me, being an Ally doesn’t mean blindly agreeing with everyone’s opinion and perspective, nor does it mean blocking any viewpoints by proxy; instead, it means being open to hearing the stories of others and understanding their views so that we can have discussions that inform us, challenge us, and move us forward."
- Shervin Yousef-Zadeh, HBA2017
“Growing up I didn’t see the value in my own individuality and seeked the feeling of being included through being the same. Reflecting back I realize that being yourself and being different is something beautiful and value-added. True inclusion and allyship is understanding your own as well as other’s individuality. By celebrating our distinct journeys in an empowering way positive change can be created in our community.”
- Annika Lui, HBA2018
“I love who I am when I do not have to explain, justify, or defend who I am. Growing up, I’ve always felt the need to explain myself and defend the way I dress or my ethnic background. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are inclusive and open is what helped me find and love myself. I don’t need to defend myself. I refuse to defend myself.
And I’m here because everyone should love themselves. Ivey, let’s spread some love!"
- Sahar Ataya, HBA2017
"We are taught to speak, act, and think in a certain way. However, deep down, most of us know we are just pretending to be what society wants us to be. Especially in the business world- “Business As Usual” becomes the norm. We stop to question how we can do things differently.
At Ally@Ivey, we believe there is truly a place in the business world where we can start to seek who we are and how we want to do business. With diversity, we are not conformed to the norm and we can go and look for more possibilities. At Ally@Ivey, it is all about being who you are and still being successful."
- Richard Zhang, HBA2017
"I grew up in a conservative town where subtle discrimination still occurs and minorities are often expected to act in line with their stereotypes. Coming to university allowed me to grow as a human being and learn to accept people of all faiths, races, and sexual orientations. I am an Ally because I aim to always grow, try to see the world from different perspectives, and keep my mind open to new ideas. I challenge you to do the same!"
- Russell MacMillan, HBA2017
"#IAmAnAllyBecause I believe every individual should be defined by their uniqueness rather than being confined by stereotypical assumptions, and preserving that uniqueness is harder than camouflaging under social and institutional contexts. Even though stereotypes mostly reside within our subconsciousness, the best we can do is to keep the awareness of it in our conscious mind."
- Jessie Chen, HBA2018
"#IAmAnAllyBecause I believe in actively promoting equality, improving inclusion, and creating positive change. My goal for the year is to have everyone practicing allyship, meaning I want everyone to learn from one another, to welcome diversity, and to talk about the issues that they see. I want to work towards finding solutions to these issues that people experience and create change. Everyone has had different experiences and that is what makes each individual unique; it is because of this that I am a full believer that diversity needs to be celebrated and discrimination should not be tolerated. In my opinion, this leads to the most inclusive and successful environment. I am committed to encourage everyone to be themselves at Ivey and beyond."
- Rebecca Adkins, HBA2019
"#IAmAnAllyBecause I believe the most valuable way you can learn about the world is through the eyes of others. I used to think individual differences were to be ignored, and that people should be viewed the same. However, meeting people from so many different walks of life has taught me that differences should not only be recognized but celebrated. Empowering and loving communities are made when the different experiences and values its members bring to the table are embraced."
- Katie McKenna, HBA2018
"Too often throughout my life, I have had friends who have hidden who they truly are in order to fit in with what they feel to be normal. The pressure to fit in was so great, their life became an act to blend in with society; their unique contributions they could have made to society were missed. I believe that every person has the potential to make so many unique contributions to their communities (society), and allyship is so important for this reason. To me, allyship is about supporting these people who feel like they don’t belong, with the goal of empowering them to reach their full potential."
- Stephanie Stiers, HBA2018
"#IAmAnAllyBecause I care. I care about not just myself, but those around me. I think being sensitive to everyone’s unique situation and point of view is critical to succeeding in life and in business, but more importantly to just in general be a kind, respectful person. Ally@Ivey to me is an organisation aimed to ensure that everyone at Ivey is comfortable enough to be themselves without facing prejudice. Through education, advocacy, and love, we can continue to make Ivey the premier business school in Canada. Be inclusive in how you act, and be an Ally."
- Geoffrey Kung, HBA2018
"There is only so much we can learn when we stick to ourselves and the people in our comfort zone. Coming to Ivey made me realize how much I don’t know and how important it is to keep an open mind.
#IAmAnAllyBecause I am committed to giving others the confidence to express themselves and share their stories, which will in turn benefit them and the people around them. Let’s continue to encourage people to speak up and be their true selves so that we can all learn from their experiences. Start by getting to know the people around you - you never know, you may just meet one of your lifelong friends."
- Jasmine Huang, HBA2018
"All of us, at one time or another, are considered “outsiders”. At certain times and spaces, all of us will feel like we don’t quite belong or are not welcome - whether we are told explicitly or implicitly.
Allyship is recognizing that we operate in a world that systemically assigns such experiences to certain people more than others, and as a result systemically oppresses and undervalues them. Allyship is understanding that you can’t change the entire world yourself, but you can use your own agency to spread a message of compassion in every act you do.
The human experience is fundamentally the same, but the ways that our identity and environment interact to create our own stories are all different and unfortunately, are unfair. Let’s talk about it."
- Kate Hall, HBA2019
"Arriving at Canada at a very crucial and important time in my life I faced many tribulations, some of these I faced in the new strange reality of what I was to call my new home, and those that I simply battled in my own mind. Initially, I didn’t feel a sense of association with my surroundings, I presumed myself an outsider incapable of aligning myself with everyone else. After meeting others undergoing similar ordeals, we found ourselves finding common grounds. It was then that it dawned on me, all of us were from different parts of the world, composed of different cultural beliefs, ages, genders, religions but yet we had the ability to unify under simple common grounds. That is what I believe Allyship is, finding the common ground and building integral and prominent relationships with all people, regardless of our differences.
Isolating ourselves from those around us on the premise of another’s physical traits can be fatal to the collective development of all members of our society, including ourselves. There is myriad of wisdom that can be found amidst all people. Inherent and acquired differences amongst all people are nothing but different lenses on how to perceive the world. It’s important to be adept at visualizing the different rays of light on a spectrum, each wave of light illuminates different obscurities. If we can learn to see the world through the eyes of the many diverse, we will undoubtedly undergo a transformative and enlightening encounter. When a diversified group are consolidated into one beautiful cultural mosaic, their various and distinctive experiences and sentiments can be unified in a process where everyone learns from one another. Being the highest of all social creatures, we can’t flourish without relationships and strong bonds, unity and inclusivity are the only things that have projected us forward throughout history, and it is only through collective harmony and inclusivity of all persons that the human species can trot forward to prosperity."
- Parnia Abootalebi, HBA2018