Allyship in Social Work Program Transcript NARRATOR: Recall your childhood and early social situations, perhaps on the playground or at school. Now, imagine a child who doesn't quite fit in-- no

peers to play with or notice them. Or if they do, they laugh, point, or use derogatory terms. What do you do? Do you befriend the child who is different? Do you say something? Do you stand aside and let it continue? Or do you laugh along with the others? While this example takes place in childhood, the question of being an ally to people who are different or othered is not confined to that time of life, rather it becomes ever more important as the situations and stakes become more serious. And it is a social worker's ethical and professional responsibility. So what does it mean to be an ally? Allies notice. They see issues in their environment, particularly those affecting oppressed populations, issues of inequity, discrimination, and violence. Allies act. They address issues through action. This might mean supporting a client, educating others, or advocating for policy change at the macro level. Allies uplift. They align themselves with and uplift the people and communities around them. Allies take risks. They are courageous. They recognize that when they speak up, they may lose status or become targets themselves. But they do so anyway. Allyship is broad. In social work practice, it could mean anything from responding to racial microaggressions in a group session, to advocating on the state level for LGBTQ rights, to examining organizational policies that create barriers for people with disabilities. Now consider how will you take action. What does being an ally look like for you?