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Allyship and Anti-Oppression: A Resource Guide

Articles and Blog Posts

Definitions

Allyship

Allyship is a process, and everyone has more to learn. Allyship involves a lot of listening. Sometimes, people say "doing ally work" or "acting in solidarity with" to reference the fact that "ally" is not an identity, it is an ongoing and lifelong process that involves a lot of work.

Oppression

The systematic, social phenomenon of prejudice and social power that manifests on a personal, institutional, and societal/cultural level. The result is the exploitation of one social group by another for the benefit of the agent/oppressor group.

Note that people can be oppressive without intending to be so.

Source: Tri-Co Summer Institute 2013 Committee

Privilege

Having unearned benefits because of an identity you hold. There are various forms of privilege.

Positionality

Positionality is the place from which you view the world. The concept grew out of reflexive anthropology and sociology in the 1980s, and is a way of describing one’s social position in order to understand 1. power relations, 2. how one’s own subjectivity affects how one interprets and observes experiences.

Solidarity

Unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group. It typically refers to shared political interests, but not always.
 

Source: Oxford Dictionaries Online
 

For more definitions, see our definitions page.