How To Be An Ally
Our How to be an Ally campaign was launched in response to the wave of Black Lives Matter protests that followed the death of George Floyd. Wanting to support those affected and looking for guidance, we collaborated with All Black Lives Bristol to provide a safe space for White people to ask questions and gain tips and advice on being an ally to Black people.
Over 200 individuals in the Bristol area have already taken part and received allyship training.
Part 1 - Introduction
The debut edition of ‘How to be an Ally’ held on 21st July was the first chance to hear from the young collective organisers of the 12th June BLM demo that went down as one of the most powerful, inclusive and pivotal days in Bristol’s history. After toppling Colston’s statue, the demo caused a worldwide surge of empowerment and triggered similar events across the globe.
The event was a unique chance to listen, learn, share experiences and ask questions with these inspiring individuals in a safe and non-judgemental space. This much needed event also featured spoken word artist and activist, Solomon. O.B, who joined in the discussion and performed a reading of his powerful and moving words previously performed at the 12th June demo.
The event included:
- Discussion & tips on How to be an Ally
- Advice on challenging racism & comments like "All Lives Matter"
- The chance to hear & share lived experiences
- What not to say & why
- Shocking statistics on racial inequality in Bristol & the UK
- Links for further reading & watching
Due to the importance and popularity of this event, we made it a monthly occurrence. You can catch the next edition on the16th September, followed by 15th October.
Tickets available via Eventbrite or Facebook at:
Part 2 - Going Deeper
After demand for more, this session was specifically created for those attendees who wanted to go deeper into the topic and develop further as an ally.
We caught up with our Part 1 attendees to talk over progress with individual pledges and discussed any personal challenges or experiences since the previous session. The event introduced additional concepts and unpicked issues in today’s society such as unconscious bias. The session inspired discussion between attendees and our panel which encouraged communication and learning between participants in a smaller group setting. Participants were able to speak up about previous mistakes made and gain answers to questions they haven’t known who, or where to ask previously.
Part two also featured a surprise spoken word poetry performance from a powerful female voice resonating her views around allyship and the current situation in the US and UK relating to Black Lives Matter.
The event included:
Break down and explanation of the effects of colonialism & slavery on othering
Progress updates on individual pledges made in last session
Discussion time for feeding back on any experiences since part 1
Recognising unconscious biases
Q & A
Thought & discussion provoking polls
How to further your journey as an ally
Hear from our Attendees...
“The atmosphere created allowed a really rich, valuable conversation and hearing from the panel and being able to listen and learn was invaluable”
“So valuable to be able to listen to and learn from the Black community, to find out what it is that they want and need from the White community. To engage with this topic is going to be useful, beneficial, and allow us to maintain momentum. Solomon's poem was amazing.”
“Feeling inspired and energised, amazing to be with so many people wanting to work on this”
“Solomon's poem was so moving, and the connections made in the breakout rooms were a highlight for me”
“The wonderful poem that was read out with real passion encapsulated my feelings and the world’s need for change”
“Thank you for giving us a space to have more open and honest conversations, as well as all being able to share resources to learn more to help with our journeys as allies”
“Talking about experiences in the past when i haven't acted as an ally and why that was, then getting feedback on those experiences and advice was invaluable”
“I really appreciated being able to talk openly about fears and mistakes, without fear of judgement, just constructive challenge. I feel much more confident about just pursuing this work without the fear of getting it wrong, as long as my intentions are good and I am willing to apologise, keep learning and keep working”