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Defining Racial Justice Terms: Ally

YWCA Central Carolinas has proudly done Racial Justice & Advocacy work in the Charlotte community for 118 years and counting! With our programs, events and advocacy there’s a lot of terminology thrown around and we want to make sure that all YWCA supporters know what they mean!

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Today’s term is ally. An ally is someone who recognizes their privilege and works in solidarity with oppressed groups in the fight for justice. This is not a one time process. Instead, it is an ongoing journey in which individuals with privilege listen and support those that are experiencing oppression, while taking time to reflect on their actions and growing in learning how to correctly use their influence.

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In the midst of protests that we continue to see throughout the nation and world, examples of allies are vast. They are the white men and women who use their bodies to shield Black people and people of color from police when they are speaking. They are individuals that drop off supplies to local jail supports and send money to bail funds. They are the people that continue to grow in their capacity to be an empathetic and understanding ally.

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And being an ally means taking the time to teach yourself, and there are plenty of resources to learn from: like this blog post you’re reading, or joining YWCA Central Carolinas’ book club, and attending out community forums. There are endless resources for you to utilize online, like Racial Equity Tools’ Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies.

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