Everyone needs somewhere to start, and these simple tips and tricks will help you build your confidence as an Ally.

1. Educate yourself.  Don't ask people from marginalised backgrounds to take on the emotional, psychological and physical burden of educating you. Take responsibility for yourself. We have compiled a list of resources to help you start.

2. Own your own privilege. Being privileged is not a mark of shame. It simply means you have the benefit of navigating the world with less resistance than someone from a marginalised background. It can be painful to think that you have been the recipient of benefits and success that you haven't earned purely from your own merit, but it is necessary. Once you realise this you can then start to think about how you can use your own privilege to help those who don't benefit from it. 

3. Accept feedback. Deliberately seek feedback from marginalised groups, but recognise the power dynamics at play; the request may inadvertently add invisible labour and stress to the very people you are trying to support, otherwise known as an 'inclusion tax'. You need to establish trusting relationships with people from marginalised groups (especially those disadvantaged in multiple ways) who will give you open and honest feedback about your conduct. Receive their comments as a gift. Even when you’re surprised or dismayed by what others tell you, show that you value candour. Be thoughtful and sincere. If you find that you are finding feedback painful it may be necessary to step back and reflect on why that is the case. 

4. Listen. Like accepting feedback, you must listen to the communities you are trying to be an ally for. Without listening, you have the danger of venturing into 'saviour' territory. This is where you assume you know more about what marginalised groups need that the individuals who are part of that group. Your actions become self-serving and you benefit more than the groups you are trying to help. 

5. Accept you will get it wrong. You won't get it right all the time. That is OK. The important thing is to remain open and receptive to feedback and to try and improve in the future. You will need to accept that you have inbuilt prejudices and biases and you will need to confront them. This may be painful but again it is necessary. 

6. Transfer the benefits of your privilege to those who lack it. Use your voice to make the voices of marginalised people heard. Make sure their needs are being considered, even if they are not in the room. Support marginalised friends and co-workers.   

7. See something, say something. This is the hardest and most taxing ally work, but it is still easier for you than it is for the people from marginalised communities. If you see or hear something that is sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, abelist, ageist or otherwise exclusionary or inappropriate, challenge it or report it if you don't feel safe. If you see someone being discriminated against, support them in the moment, not later. Intervene even if the target community is not present. By demonstrating that you don't find it appropriate you can help to change culture. 

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