If you have come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. Lilla Watson
What is Advocacy?
It involves engaging in public affairs, taking action against oppression, and giving voice to historically silenced social groups. Advocacy requires attention to differences in power and educating others about social identities, power, privilege, and oppression. Raising critical consciousness or the ability to perceive and identify oppressive social systems and the individuals most affected by these systems is another crucial component of advocacy.
What is Allyship?
An active and consistent practice of unlearning and reevaluating one’s privileges and using those privileges to act in solidarity with oppressed groups. Allyship entails using power and privilege to leverage resources and access for oppressed groups, consciously breaking down barriers, and actively challenging the status quo of structural oppression to promote social justice.
As discussed in previous modules, everyone has multicultural intersecting identities that impact experiences of privilege and oppression. People from oppressed social groups can engage in advocacy and allyship for other oppressed groups where their identity holds privilege. For instance, someone who self-identifies as bisexual (oppressed sexual orientation) and cisgender (privileged gender identity) may want to challenge the structural oppression that transgender individuals (oppressed gender identity) experience.