What Does It Mean To Be An Ally?


In any number of rooms in which I find myself, I am asked “What does being an ally look like?” Invariably, this question comes from a place of sincerity and a true desire to affect change in the world. To put it in succinct terms, my response has to do with our shared obligation to coexist amongst a broader range of human experience than we can possibly imagine.

As members of a community (which is all a society really is) we have the awesome responsibility of deciding who is in and who is out. When we say that someone can’t join our ‘club’ (ex. our country, our lunchroom table, our company, what is manhood or womanhood, who is a Christian or a heathen, what constitutes love, etc.), we have determined a person’s path so completely that they are forced to accommodate our self-made definitions or face ostracism, destruction or even death. My advice is simple. Wield the power you hold as a member of society with greater intention, humility and love. Lives depend upon it.

RECOGNIZE your positionality. REDEFINE your frame. REALIZE a new reality.

Dr. Carla Thomas is a scholar-practitioner and President of The Realize Leadership Group. If you are interested in learning more about this and other areas of her work, please contact her here.

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