Framework for Aspiring White Allies and Accomplices

The goal of my research was to create a framework for allyship that was authored by people of color, about the role that White people can play in dismantling systematic racism. The participants in my research described a role for White people that includes action on the individual, group, and system level, highlighting the importance of learning and unlearning, self-work, and a consistent commitment to this work. This framework was developed using a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens and keeps race and racism at the center. Social justice is a core tenant of CRT and should be the driver of White allies. 

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Framework for Aspiring White Allies and Accomplices

This framework is not listed in absolute order. Rather, learning, self-reflection, and understanding serve as both the starting point and a place to return to continuously. Ongoing learning, self-reflection, and understanding is necessary for effective and continuous engagement, particularly when engaging in disruption on multiple levels. Engagement with other White people is also an ongoing component of this framework. This includes engaging with other Whites and building a community for unlearning racism, learning and deepening understanding, and navigating difficult conversations. It also includes engaging with other Whites by addressing racist behaviors, naming racism in groups, and calling on White peers to collaborate in disrupting racist cultures. The last point—actions—represents a variety of ways that White people should take action to engage on all three levels. While this framework is not linear, each of the components is essential, and they all overlap in some capacity. Optimally, White allies would be functioning in all areas of this framework, consistently reflecting, learning, and taking thoughtful action at the system level.

Overview of Research Findings

This infographic offers a brief overview of the findings from my dissertation research on the role that White people can play in dismantling systemic racism. Click on the image to view the full 2-page overview.

Systemic Racism & Link to Dissertation

This figure highlights one example of how workplace racism is systemic and upheld through silence and White fragility. The impact of this cycle on professionals of color includes: hostile workplace climates, professional barriers, emotional burdens that can manifest into physical ailments, stress, isolation, and stereotype threat. Click on the image to view my full dissertation.