It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
With a focus on student safety and well-being, this guide is designed to provide general information and links to resources about anti-oppression and related topics such as diversity, inclusion, and social justice for the UNLV academic community. Intended to be non-partisan, many resources offered here are for everyone regardless of political affiliation or viewpoint. In some cases, resources and links related to issues and specific policies proposed by elected officials are part of this guide as these issues and proposed policies directly impact professional and personal lives of members of our community, such as immigrants or people of color.
We would like to offer our appreciation to the following individuals who contributed to the development of this guide.
This guide seeks to serve as a starting point and is not meant to be exhaustive. It is our goal to continue its development in response to evolving needs of the community. We welcome suggestions from all members of the UNLV academic community.
If you have feedback about this guide or would like to suggest additional resources, please contact Sue Wainscott, Engineering Librarian
This website explains how to move from actor to ally to accomplice, and provides practical ways to become an ally, and even an accomplice, which goes a step beyond allyship. The acts of an accomplice are "meant to directly challenge institutionalized racism, colonization, and White supremacy by blocking or impeding racist people, policies, and structures."
(Artwork by Anita Revilla, Quote added, Used with permission from the artist)
If you experience privilege because of one of your identities, there are things you can do to become an ally of the marginalizedgroup that experiences the form of oppression you have never experienced. Becoming an ally takes a lot of hard work. Simply saying you are an ally is not enough. You must educate yourself about the issues, examine your own privilege, and do the hard work that is involved in reversing that privilege so that you treat others with marginalized identities as equals, instead of inadvertently advancing your own privilege and contributing to their oppression. Then, there are actions you can take to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression and injustices in our society. This whole process can be very challenging, and as you become more self-aware, you may experience guilt or shame and make mistakes along the way. However, it is better to engage in this difficult process in order to become an ally than do nothing yourself to fix the injustices that you are a part of because of your privilege. Below are some resources to help you get started.
Being an Ally is about Listening - Remember, this is not about you; it is about learning about and understanding others, though allies should not expect others to educate them. Seek out written resources and discuss your privilege with other members of your dominant group.
Stop Thinking of ‘Ally’ as a Noun - 'Ally' is not a label you can just choose, it is a process. It does not give you bragging rights. Always remember that you benefit from your own privilege daily, and in doing so, you still contribute to others' oppression.
'Ally' is not a self-proclaimed identity - Being in solidarity with others is always something we can strive for, but in the end, it is up to others whether or not they trust us and choose to receive support from us.
Allies don't take breaks - Oppression is constant, so too must be the fight against it.
Allies educate themselves, constantly - One thing we shouldn't do, though, is expect people of marginalized groups to educate us. Education is up to us, it is our responsibility, and we shouldn't place that responsibility on anyone else other than ourselves and the dominant group to which we belong.
You can't be an ally in isolation - you must find others in your dominant group with whom you can be held accountable, and you must remember that you are accountable to the group that experiences marginalization because of your power and privilege.
Allies don't need to be in the spotlight - Allies provide support to others rather than highlighting their own work.
Allies focus on those who share their identity - It's not our place to engage with marginalized groups to discuss their own marginalization. That is asking something of them that should be our responsibility. Talk to people in your dominant group, call out instances of racism, sexism, ableism, or other forms of discrimination and hate when you see it.
When Criticized or Called Out, Allies Listen, Apologize, Act Accountably, and Act Differently Going Forward - We all make mistakes, and you will slip up along the way. Take responsibility for your mistakes, and move forward.
Allies never monopolize the emotional energy - While being an ally can be hard, being marginalized is harder. Avoid dwelling on your own pain or asking others to sympathize with you, especially when you are with members of an oppressed group.
"The 5 D's of Bystander Intervention. The Five D's are different methods you can use to support someone who's being harassed, emphasize that harassment is not okay, and demonstrate to people in your life that they too have the power to make the community safer."
Abstract: " White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility.
"This quiz looks at what happens in your heart/mind and behavior when problematic statements or actions happen in your presence. The tool categorizes you in one of six ally types we have refined through over 30 years of dialogue experience. It explores what you feel and do when people do or say things that you find racially problematic."
Please I'd like to Grow: 60 Years of Student Activism. An Exhibit by Heidi Johnson
This October 6, 2016 news article by Sean Kennedy describes an exhibit that was on display in Lied Library. Please I'd Like to Grow: 60 Years of Student Activism, was curated by Heidi Johnson, Social Sciences Librarian. This exhibit conveyed the history of students' advocacy throughout UNLV's history and showed artifacts from our Special Collections and University Archives collections.