Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a cis-gender, heterosexual, white, male, working in academia (pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at a US University) so I am very aware of my privilege. I'm a huge advocate for ally work as I myself struggled immensely in the early phase of my doctoral studies and through that … Continue reading #14: How do I talk to people who are against allyship as a concept?
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a white, university-educated woman and I recently started a new job based in Europe. The issue is my boss, who is a rude, sexist, racist white man. He is much older than me and is viewed in our industry as a merely strong-headed, kinda grumpy guy who achieved a … Continue reading #13: Can I do anything about my rude, sexist, racist boss?
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I'm a woman with no disabilities living in a mid-sized city. Today while I was leaving the library, a woman using a wheelchair was entering. Someone else had pressed the automatic door opener several seconds ago, but the door was starting to close as she was going through. I held the … Continue reading #12: When should I hold the door for someone using a wheelchair?
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I'm a feminist woman in tech, and I recently turned down an invitation to appear on a panel with another feminist activist. The reason I turned it down is that I don't trust the other activist, don't want to give them my social capital by appearing on the same panel, and … Continue reading #11: How do I choose which activist to trust?
I hope you enjoyed the first 10 columns from Dear Ally Skills Teacher! As the next few months are the busiest time for ally skills training, Dear Ally will switch to a biweekly posting schedule. We still have a number of good questions in the queue, but I plan to end the column in a … Continue reading Learn more about the Ally Skills Workshop
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I'm a cis white man in the U.S., and I have a leadership role at a tech company that uses Slack for communication and has many employees from marginalized groups. Slack has a default "skin tone" for emojis, which is a cartoon-y yellow by default but can be set to another … Continue reading #10: Should white people use white skin tone emojis?
The ally skills teacher behind Dear Ally Skills Teacher is busy teaching all this week, so no column this week. Here are a few resources from the Ally Skills Workshop that you might find useful: Identifying your power and privilege: An exercise to help you figure out what societal advantages you have, so that you … Continue reading Three new ally skills resources
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I work at a large university in Florida, where I've been the Administrative Assistant in our building for more than a decade. I'm white, female, cis, and queer. We currently have a "men's" bathroom and a "women's" bathroom. I've been wanting to make our building's bathrooms all-gender for a while because … Continue reading #9: I want all-gender bathrooms at work but worry about retaliation against my coworker
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I'm a white man in a position of cultural and professional privilege at an engineering-focused tech company. Some of the other white men here have privately admitted to me that they no longer participate in conversations of race and gender. They're scared of the shame they'll face if they say something … Continue reading #8: How do I make people to want to act as allies?
There's no column this week due to the (U.S.) holiday. Instead, here is a cute fennec fox with giant ears to remind you that an important ally skill is listening to marginalized people. To tide you over till next week, here is another useful ally skills resource: the Better Allies weekly newsletter, which gives you … Continue reading Do you have an ally skills question?