“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly,
affects all indirectly.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.,
If you are a white person who, since George Floyd’s death:
has become more acutely aware of the daily experience of racism that others suffer
felt challenged to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem
wants to learn what it takes to be a true ally against racism alongside those with black, brown and yellow skin
finds it difficult to ask questions about racism for fear you might unintentionally offend
...then the White Allies Network might be for you.
But let us be clear from the outset - White Allies are what we aspire to be, not what we already claim to be.
As Layla Saad says...
"Allyship is not self-defined – our work and our efforts must be recognised by the people we seek to ally ourselves with”.
- Layla Saad, 'Me and white supremacy'
With the above in mind, the White Allies Network aims to help us :
Become true allies of people of colour, the global majority, in the fight against systemic and global injustice.
Learn about ourselves – becoming more aware of our white histories, our white privilege, our white worldviews, our white behaviour and the impact these have had, and continue to have, on those with black, brown and yellow skin
Learn about people of colour, the global majority, and more fully honour their historic and continuing contribution to world history, filling in the gaps in our own whitewashed histories
Develop ideas for action that we can take individually, collectively and in partnership with others, to counteract racism in our immediate contexts and in wider society
This is not about white people going it alone – 'white saviours to the rescue'. It is about white people stepping up, rising to the challenge that black authors such as Layla Saad and Reni Eddo-Lodge have set us – to ‘do the work’ and for ‘white people to talk to white people about race’.
It’s about taking responsibility to educate ourselves about the issues and play our part in unravelling a system that for centuries has unfairly favoured those that pass as white. It's about recognising there is no such thing as a passive anti-racist, being active in the fight for racial justice, learning what it means to be true allies.
How do we intend to achieve these aims?
you need to talk
to other white people
- Reni Eddo-Lodge, Author
'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'
How do we intend to achieve these aims?
Those that joined the Network at our inaugural meeting on 30 June 2021 helped shape how we achieve these aims. At that meeting we developed 10 Qualities that we wanted to be present in the spaces we create for dialogue on these issues. These are qualities we will hold ourselves mutually accountable to uphold. We also gathered ideas for topics and themes that members wanted us to focus on.
Our plan is to:
Meet at least quarterly on Zoom, to educate ourselves and generate ideas for action
Grow and draw from a hub of resources: articles, videos and other web-based resources to develop our understanding of the issues.
Invite guest speakers to stimulate and challenge our thinking and help us fill in the gaps in our knowledge and understanding
Challenge each other towards individual and collective action in our quest to become better allies against racial injustice, as a network and in partnership with others
Who can join the network?
Who can join the Network?
This network is firstly for white people who are willing to ‘do the work’, to challenge racist attitudes in themselves, to educate themselves on the issues and to learn what it takes to be effective allies against racism. Many black writers and activists have challenged us as white people to take responsibility for our own anti-racist education, rather than lean too heavily on those that suffer from racism to teach us. That is the core challenge to which this network is responding.
Twice a year, we will provide white spaces to encourage white people to honestly and vulnerably grapple together with their understanding of the issues.
White people willing to 'do the work' are invited to join the network as Aspiring White Ally (AWA) Members.
At the same time, learning to be a true ally for racial justice is not about us going it alone, or going ahead. It is about standing alongside people of colour, the global majority, to create a fairer world together. This means we will also need open spaces for dialogue between people of all skin colours. These will be held twice a year, interspersed between the 'white spaces'.
People of colour willing and able to support us in our learning journeys, are encouraged to join the Network as Co-Mentor (COM) Members.
Joining as either type of member gives you immediate and unlimited access to our growing hub of written and video resources to help equip, educate and inspire ourselves and others to combat racism in our contexts.
So - come and join us!
..and if you still have questions...
Go to our frequently asked questions (FAQs) page to see if they are answered there. If your questions are not answered there - contact us at the email address below and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.
"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word",
- Martin Luther King Jr