About a thing called Allyship…
I am no stranger to passive, subtle biases in conversation with individuals different than myself. Recently I had yet another experience of this bias, and although I have lived it before, this time I felt change.
I’ll stop right here. Surely you’ve read posts similar to this, my experience is not uncommon (unfortunately) and, while this post could be one of anger and frustration, rants and raves regarding this event, I want to focus on the beauty. Positivity. Maybe, just maybe, a bit of positivity can change our world.
In July, I attended an IncludeSeattle meet-up that highlighted the significance of allyship. I met several amazing individuals that night, several allies. Leaving that meet-up I felt supported, encouraged, positive about the future. A few weeks ago, I came across another ally in my organization — Larkin!
Larkin is an Ally. As we debriefed after the event I mentioned above, I shared my feelings with Larkin. Without skipping a beat, she noted that diversity is something that needs to be recognized and celebrated. YES!!!
Having grown up in a small town of campesinos, she learned about the importance of equity in education. She developed a strong sense of commitment to providing every child, regardless of socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic background. She has dedicated her career to equity in education, bilingual education, and community education.
At first glance, you are naturally drawn to her positive energy, friendliness and her dedication to our White Center community/Family. Her approach to our diverse student body is with a full understanding that each student has their own story, no approach is “one-size fits all”. She reaches out to the families in their language, code-switching from English to Spanish like a pro. Her first question to welcoming events and programs at HFBCS is, “How will this benefit each of our students’ learning?” She is tireless when it comes to finding resources to, “level the playing field for our students.”
Earlier this school year, I approached her with a plan to develop an after school coding program. She has been nothing but supportive of technology in the classroom and technology education at our school. She has opened the school to inclusion and diversity speakers, technology volunteers, tours for our perspective families. Because of her the students at HFBCS will be closer to leveled. She is their ally. She is my ally. She is an ally to diversity and inclusion.
Again, biases exist. That’s our reality. But with everyday ally heroes like Larkin, our world will change.