Project Title

Building Allies Who Are Informed and Engaged

Authors' Affiliations

Amelia Charles, Department of Appalachian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee Lia Bevins, Department of Liberal Studies, School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

Location

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Start Date

4-12-2019 1:00 PM

End Date

4-12-2019 1:15 PM

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Liberal Studies

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jill LeRoy-Frazier

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Cultural Studies

Abstract Text

Growing inequity and political polarization necessitate organized political action capable of challenging large-scale, globalized power. Political projects around the globe, and certainly in America, that aim to shift power relations have become synonymous with projects of building allies. Others—people of color, queers, and women—have long formed political alliances in order to build movements that contest hegemonic power. Others have formed these alliances (with various allies) along the lines of political ideology. Increasingly, with the growing influence of identity politics overshadowing class politics, identity plays a key role in shaping who takes part in political action. The role of an “ally” has also followed this pattern, allowing non-marginalized subjects to claim a “good ally” identity, despite lived experiences that share struggle with Others. However, ally-ship is a project of life-long work that engages various forms of anti-oppression work and is rooted in a process of what Paulo Freire terms “conscientization.” Using Freire’s concepts, principals of “the ethics of care philosophy,” and qualitative interviews, this research examines why allies are important to liberation projects of marginalized groups, specifically queers. The individuals interviewed for the research each have extensive experience educating others in the process of building allyship. The research analyzes their unique approaches along with other programs centered on the process of ally building to highlight the most successful methods. The research explores the differences in ally-ship with and affirmation of Others; complicates the projects of non-oppressive groups versus anti-oppressive groups; and examines the process of ally building. Based on the data and information gathered from qualitative interviews and literature, a framework is created that outlines the processes necessary in allyship building. The findings of the research illustrate the benefits of allies to Others in the fight for equality and demonstrate how an individual can work towards becoming an ally to these groups. In short, this research illustrates Freire's concepts of education for “critical consciousness” as it is applied to allies and the necessary action against oppressive agents.

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Apr 12th, 1:00 PM Apr 12th, 1:15 PM

Building Allies Who Are Informed and Engaged

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Growing inequity and political polarization necessitate organized political action capable of challenging large-scale, globalized power. Political projects around the globe, and certainly in America, that aim to shift power relations have become synonymous with projects of building allies. Others—people of color, queers, and women—have long formed political alliances in order to build movements that contest hegemonic power. Others have formed these alliances (with various allies) along the lines of political ideology. Increasingly, with the growing influence of identity politics overshadowing class politics, identity plays a key role in shaping who takes part in political action. The role of an “ally” has also followed this pattern, allowing non-marginalized subjects to claim a “good ally” identity, despite lived experiences that share struggle with Others. However, ally-ship is a project of life-long work that engages various forms of anti-oppression work and is rooted in a process of what Paulo Freire terms “conscientization.” Using Freire’s concepts, principals of “the ethics of care philosophy,” and qualitative interviews, this research examines why allies are important to liberation projects of marginalized groups, specifically queers. The individuals interviewed for the research each have extensive experience educating others in the process of building allyship. The research analyzes their unique approaches along with other programs centered on the process of ally building to highlight the most successful methods. The research explores the differences in ally-ship with and affirmation of Others; complicates the projects of non-oppressive groups versus anti-oppressive groups; and examines the process of ally building. Based on the data and information gathered from qualitative interviews and literature, a framework is created that outlines the processes necessary in allyship building. The findings of the research illustrate the benefits of allies to Others in the fight for equality and demonstrate how an individual can work towards becoming an ally to these groups. In short, this research illustrates Freire's concepts of education for “critical consciousness” as it is applied to allies and the necessary action against oppressive agents.