In "Heeding the Call," a Tapestry of Faith program
Youth discover a tool to help explain the process of opposing oppression and becoming an ally.
Explain that becoming an ally is one way we can help make our world a more just place. Say to the group that some groups of people are marginalized in our society. Individuals in these groups have a disadvantage in competing for resources to fill their needs. They often to do not have access to the same resources as the dominant group. Explain that the dominant group is not defined by numbers. It is not necessarily the largest group, just the group that holds more power and therefore more access to resources such as good education or jobs.
If the members of the dominant group have access to certain resources that others do not, we call that "privilege." Often members of a dominant group enjoy privilege whether they actively seek it or not. Can youth name some privileges Juliette Morgan Hampton had that African Americans in Montgomery did not?
Someone who belongs to the dominant group—who has access to more resources—can support those who are denied those resources by advocating for their rights and helping them gain access to resources. That is what being an ally means. That is what Juliette Morgan Hampton did.
Inform participants that there are steps everyone can take to help oppose oppression of marginalized people. Ask everyone to find the Oppression Continuum in the Justicemakers Guide or distribute Handout 1, Oppression Continuum, and review it with the group. Reading—or asking volunteers to read—each phase on the continuum and the description of each phase.
Here are a few questions to help process this tool:
If youth are keeping the guide electronically, remind them how to add new pages.
If you will not do the Faith in Action, Allies, ask youth if they consider themselves an ally to any others. Is there an identity group they would like to support as an ally? Use the Justicemakers Guide to note this desire and to track future commitments in this area.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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