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Learn & Unlearn: Anti-racism Resource Guide

Lesson 1: Actor, Ally, Accomplice

Original post on @saic.maffairs posted 8/1/2020.

Foundation: Allyship, Accompliceship

What is an actor? Ally? Accomplice? 

Actor: Actions are performative and don’t challenge the status quo.
Ally: Actions are “Currently operating in solidarity with.”1 Allies operate in privileged spaces, they challenge the status quo  by educating themselves and others.
Accomplice: Actions are coordinated with Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other POC liberation movements to disrupt the status quo, & challenge systems of oppression. 


“If you have come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together” - Lilla Watson2

5 Tips

  • Learning, changing, and being uncomfortable is a sight of learning
  • Listen to others’ experiences and don’t save, lead, speak, or take over them
  • Accept criticism thoughtfully and act differently going forward. Mistakes happen!
  • Talk and check in with other allies, family, friends, and anyone around you
  • Always strive to be a better ally/accomplice by educating yourself

To Read

Flaxman Library Materials - May take up to 3 days from request to pickup. Instructions are available here.
I-Share Books - May take up to 10 days from request to pickup. Instructions are available here.

To Watch

To Reflect

Who do you think of as an ally? 
Who do you think of as an accomplice?
What stops you from taking your action to the next level?

To Act

Take your action to the next level from Actor to Ally:
Take your actions to the next level from Ally, to Accomplice:


Works Cited

  1. Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class, and GenderMia McKenzie (Oakland, CA: BGD Press, Inc., 2014).
  2. Nicole Evans, Faybra Hemphill, Daisy Han, and Katie Kitchens, Our Liberation is Bound TogetherEmbracing Equity, June 2020.

Other Sources