UC Merced Cultural Center Guidelines
Section G: Guidelines for Allies
We want this to be a space in which historically and continually marginalized student of color, which include their intersectional identities as womxn, income-insecure, LGBTQ+, non-binary, gender non-conforming, differently abled-bodied, international, immigrant, non-traditional students, etc. can feel safe expressing themselves, their lived experiences, knowledges, without being the target of oppression. We commit to remaining conscious of our own positionality in this space.
- Primarily remember that this space is not about you. You are not the most important aspect of the struggle. Any ally who obscures the right for students of color to feel safe in this space, is enabling and practicing white supremacy and heteropatriarchy. This space provides a hub of resistance against these and all forms of oppression. Be receptive and listen to students in the space if you are approached about these issues. You are going to have to earn trust from individuals in the space.
- Do not overshadow students of color. Do not take up space. Don not make this in any way, shape or form about you.
- Fundamentally, we are not talking about opinions- but about people’s lives. Black and brown people are not opinions- there are NOT two sides to black and brown existence, it is not a monolith, there are multiple experiences. It is no question that black and brown people should be treated as human beings with dignity and respect, and not as property or as inferior. It is about asserting our humanity. No arguments or debates here about that.
- Activism and advocacy should be about a cause, to uplift and empower marginalized communities, not a personal ego or a campaign to bolster yourself. Allyship and solidarity work is a proactive and lifelong commitment to learning and acting as an accomplice to historically and presently marginalized communities.
- Do not speak for us, or over us, or about us. Do not share our narratives without our permission. Allies are not spokespersons. We are capable of empowering and speaking for ourselves
- Learn about the legacies of and the ways we are all complicit with settler colonialism, white supremacy, capitalism and heteropatriarchy