Every marginalized community needs to know who their allies are and how to empower them. Empowerment can only happen with patience and education. Patience is necessary for following new allies through the journey of becoming an ally. They may need time to learn the tools and vocabulary necessary to being a powerful ally. This process often requires changes in the new ally’s behavior so patience is needed for that as well.
Education is a process and goes hand in hand with patience. There must be different forms of education in order to best meet the learning needs of new allies. Also, a list of resources and tools must be readily available for assisting new allies. For new allies, guidelines should be presented so they can visualize how best to be helpful and advocate for the marginalized group. University of Missouri Kansas City has an excellent list of guidelines for becoming an ally. This list is specific to being an ally for the LGBTQ community, but if can easily be adapted for other types of marginalized groups.
It may not be obvious to all, but the largest marginalized community in the world is women. Men must learn how to advocate for women because men are the most powerful allies when fighting harassment, poorly created and hateful legislation, and basic equality issues. A cartoon recently created by Robot Hugs does an excellent job of illustrating what women go through and turning that into ways men can be allies and not perpetuate the problem. Take some time on Robot Hugs page. WE LOVE ROBOT HUGS! Here is a teaser of the cartoon.
Additionally, organizations and corporations can become allies in this still male dominated world. We sometimes do not recognize that it is happening when these large groups are being allies, but it happens. If we recognize it, then we become better allies. Project Kinect believes we are all involved (#WAAI) and this is true when advocating for any marginalized community. Here is an excellent example of a larger organization being an ally for women. Thank you Buzzfeed!