Don’t be an ally, be an accomplice
I sometimes introduce myself as a “professional African American” when I travel the country to give ally skills workshops — often while looking out at a sea of white faces. It’s a joke, of course, but the point is serious. I’m using humor to disarm my audience, and to make some difficult and personal topics more accessible.
I recognize that every person walks into the room with a different set of experiences and point of view. Many folks have had uncomfortable and even traumatizing experiences talking about race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of marginalization. And many of the companies I work with have had conversations about bias go sideways. So a part of the learning experience in my workshops is making it safe for people to be present, both physically and emotionally.