watch your Language

Having conversations in the workplace about police brutality, micro and macro aggressions, oppression, and racism can be challenging. Company leadership and co-workers who are not Black, are likely to ask, “What can I do to help?”. Be familiar with key terminology and concepts:


Allyship is defined as “the practice of emphasizing social justice, inclusion, and human rights by members of a privileged, or dominant social group, to advance the interests of an oppressed or marginalized group.” In short, it is asking white colleagues to show through action during moments of injustice against Black people. One thing worth noting is the difference between performative allyship versus action allyship.

Performative Allyship

Performative allyship is hashtag activists who promote a culture of inclusion and belonging online, but produce no tangible benefits to Black people in everyday life.
An example would be corporations that issue well-crafted statements only to have a leadership team that is not inclusive of Black people, or one Black employee serving in a diversity and inclusion role.

Action Allyship

Action allyship is defined by action, movement, ie...doing something that has real outcomes for Black people. Action Allyship looks like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian stepping down from the board to make space for a Black woman.

*additional resources and article.

Anti-Oppression LibGuide:
Allyship-Take action. Retrieved from
Allyship: What It Means To Be An Ally. (2019). Tulane University. Retrieved from here  
Performing Wokeness. (2018). Jenna Gray.
The Crimson. Retrieved from

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