New training tackles solidarity and allyship

Supporting less-privileged voices in the community can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Often, it can seem unclear exactly what a single person can do to help.

A new half-day workshop offered by REACH Edmonton that is facilitated by the Centre for Race and Culture will explore the concepts of allyship and solidarity. While many of us hold an understanding about discrimination, participants will expand their understanding and reflect on the various forms of discrimination (Internalized, Interpersonal, Institutional and Systemic Discrimination) that work together to exclude, marginalize and limit opportunities for others.

Rather than offering a step-by-step list, this session will look at the problems surrounding the concept. It will aim to create a deeper understanding of how to support and open up spaces for other voices in our communities. How to mobilize one’s own privileged to empower others into positions of leadership, and representation so they speak on their own behalf.

“In our context, the terms ally and allyship often emerge in social justice spaces where those who claim to be allies are those who align with a cause and support it, in some way or another,” said Sahar Ibrahim, who will be facilitating the session. “We need to take a step back and think critically about what it means to support another and to stand in solidarity. Many marginalized groups have critiqued the category of allies, outlining its toxicity in creating real change and in centering the voices of these communities.”

This workshop, entitled ‘Building Allyship and Mindful Solidarity’ aims to encourage participants to embark on a journey of critical analysis of themselves and the spaces around them. In doing so, they will explore tools and ideas to continuously deepen their reflections as they seek to support those around them.

 

In 2017, this session will be offered March 14 and September 26. For more information or to register, click here.

Sahar Ibrahim is a Youth Reconciliation Initiative Leader with Canadian Roots Exchange working with a diverse team to create spaces in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth can come together to learn, to share, and ultimately to build long-lasting relationships.