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?
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I'm a white cisgender woman and am chairing a search committee for an academic position. Would it be appropriate for me to ask finalists their pronouns (and let them know mine) when arranging their on-campus interview? I want to use their correct pronouns, but I don't want them to feel like … Continue reading #7: Should I ask job applicants for their pronouns?
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a white man who is a low-rung-on-the-ladder employee at a small technology company that is a vendor for several moderately sized banking companies. When on conference calls our clients, I often hear their clients making oppressive comments. My boss (and owner of the company) is a woman of color … Continue reading #6: What do I do about oppressive speech from clients?
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a white foreigner living in the U.S., so aside from my accent my privilege is most alike the rest of the white, middle-class, college educated community. However, I have an ignorance about racism here that I am not sure how to rectify. I have a much better understanding of … Continue reading #5: How do I learn what racism looks like in an unfamiliar culture?