What does it mean “to be an ally?” For some the concept is challenging and for other it’s broad or vague. Put simply, being and ally to someone else starts with being genuinely helpful to them. But it goes beyond that, it means putting aside your biases, not letting any micro-aggressions slip out and then taking action, meaningful action, to help others who may not have your level of standing or influence. Sometimes people might ask for your help, sometimes they won’t but you can offer it to them. Allyship boils down to you using your power, position, skills or privilege to support and uplift others.
Allyship and inclusivity go hand-in-hand. Inclusivity is the practice of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. When you are inclusive you set aside judgement (and attempt to set aside biases) and then value people based on the skills, perspectives and talents they bring to the table. In the workplace employees who feel valued will be more loyal to their employer, and that feeling of validation can also boost productivity, employment tenure and work satisfaction.
How can organizations get the productivity, morale and other benefits of an inclusive workplace? That’s where inclusive leadership expert and diversity practitioner, Dr. Rassheedah Watts comes in. She’s made it her mission to share the values of inclusivity and allyship and to educate us on building better communities at work and at home.
Dr. Rassheedah is an author, speaker, allyship coach, and certified trainer on topics of diversity, inclusion, and leadership. She has an impressive educational background, including a Doctorate of Leadership, a Master’s in Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. Her passion is helping clients become more active, supportive allies and teaching them how to discourage all forms of intolerance and injustice they might encounter in the workplace and beyond.
In her new book, Dr. Rassheedah Watts aims to teach readers how to become more effective allies and develop inclusive systems in their workplaces. She addresses common questions people have about allyship and inclusion with clear definitions, real-life examples, and exercises that readers can practice on their own. The book also contains Dr. Rassheedah’s actionable, step-by-step guide for becoming a more supportive ally: The A.C.A. Pillars™.
The A.C.A. Pillars™ are intended to encourage self-development and promote positive work environments. The system designed by Dr. Rassheedah is a cyclical process that helps allies grow, expand their knowledge bases, and create more impactful changes. You’ll be armed with the tools and resources you need to address issues about diversity, inclusiveness, intolerance, and injustice, without inadvertently speaking over the very people you want to support. If you want to be a good steward in the communities you’re a part of, this book is a must-read!