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Expressing allyship

07/12/2020

On Unmasking College Students’ Inequalities

As the pandemic unfolded, students on college campuses were forced to leave campus and return home to finish their semesters online. But students attending the same college returned to very different homes. In this piece, Nicholas Casey tells the stories of a few students at Haverford college in Philadelphia and how the pandemic has exposed the drastic differences of the students’ lives. While some returned home to luxury East Coast vacation homes, others struggled to support their families while studying online. As Professor Anita Isaacs observes, "It’s as though you had a front-row view on American inequality and the ways in which it was disguised and papered over." These inequalities among college students have always existed, but never have they been so evident. New York Times.

On How to Express Your Allyship

Since recent protests following the murder of George Floyd, there has been an outpouring of support and allyship from white communities towards the Black communities. While these gestures and words are well-intended, they can often have the opposite effect for the recipient parties. In this video, Black Lives Matter Activist Gloria Atanmo identifies the problematic expressions of white allyship. She emphasizes that instead of expressing shock and outrage about racial injustice towards their Black friends, white allies should be having "silent conversations with yourselves and loud conversations with your family members in your white spaces and white networks." True empathy results from listening and understanding. We must remember that others’ experiences are different from our own. In order to demonstrate our allyship and support for the Black community, we ought to listen more than we speak. Instagram.

On Tokenism

The pandemic and recent BLM protests have introduced challenges in nearly every work environment. In this piece, Roxane Gay answers readers’ questions on careers and work-related issues. Worried about the tokenization of her black employees, one small business owner asks if it is appropriate for her to be using photos and videos of her black employees for marketing purposes. Another reader writes about her dissatisfaction with her current job, and expresses guilt in feeling this way when millions are facing unemployment. Read more on Roxane’s response to these workplace dilemmas. New York Times.

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