What are the most relevant positions of privilege and oppression in this situation?
What is your combination of privilege and oppression?
What are the combinations of privilege and oppression of others?
What are possible communication dynamics with these combinations of privilege and oppression and how might they affect communication.
Open your mind and your ears to hear words and feelings
Make no comparisons
Try imagining the world or situation through others’ points-of-view
What might your challenges be in listening?
Give your full attention to the person speaking
Make “soft” eye contact
Use open body language
Project warmth and empathy
Be or stay open to learning from those you wish to support as an ally
Note your feelings, including any discomfort but set that aside for the moment.
What challenges might you face in connecting?
Say in your own words what you have heard/witnessed
Ask what might you offer or do in the way of personal or organizational support
Check that what you can offer is helpful
What challenges might you face in checking in with others?
What have you learned about the issue, yourself, your beliefs, your behavior?
What steps can you take to make your beliefs and behavior more consistent (not perfection)?
What challenges might you face as you reflect on your own beliefs and actions (or lack of action)?
Developed by Pamela Robert and Martha Thompson, 2014 Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center Meditations on Activism: On Being an Ally (updated 2020). Adapted from “Five Fingers of Self-Defense,”an approach to teaching self-defense to women and girls created by women martial artists in the 1970s: Think, Yell, Run, Fight, Tell.