Quick Start

Foundations

Mission Statement

Here's a sample mission statement:
The <your company> allyship program equips colleagues to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion through education, skill-building, and action.

If you have a more specific area, could try one of these: 
The <your company> male allyship program equips men to advocate for gender equity through education, skill-building, and action.

The <your company> white allyship program equips white people to advocate for racial equity through education, skill-building, and action.

Theory of Change

A theory of change (TOC) helps you connect what you're doing to what you hope to accomplish. You can tailor the text below for specific focus areas (such as male or white allyship). Here's a TOC to help guide you:

  • We focus on receptive colleagues to enhance their willingness and ability to be better allies. Many folks want to learn more, get involved, and take action, but they don't know how
  • We provide educational materials, opportunities to listen to others' experiences, methods of self reflection, suggestions on behavior changes, and time to practice
  • As folks become more confident and dedicated, they will naturally and positively affect the overall workplace. They will slowly raise the awareness of others on their teams
  • Simultaneously, they will develop inclusive leadership skills that will allow them to continue their progress and make their future workplace cultures more inclusive.

Deciding your Target Audience

Start off by targeting those people who are already most receptive. Just because someone is generally on board with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) does not mean they would not benefit greatly from more self-reflection, systemic analysis, historical reading, examples of allyship behavior, and skill building practice.

Initiative Leads and Relationship to Partner Group

Put two people in charge of the allyship initiative – one from an underrepresented group, and the other from the overrepresented group (e.g. a woman of color and a white man).

Create a steering committee of 4-5 people from underrepresented groups. To hold the allyship group accountable, and make sure that all events and programming get run by the steering committee before implementation.

Program Leads

For each distinct program, have two program leads (from an under- and over-represented group) to ensure execution. For example, you'd have a lead for each of the different events and programs in the next section, Events and Programming. People are overworked, so the these roles should be a small time commitment (yet still meaningful). The two initiative leads support the program leads. 

For each distinct program, have two program leads (from an under- and over-represented group) to ensure execution. For example, you'd have a lead for each of the different events and programs in the next section, Events and Programming. People are overworked, so the these roles should be a small time commitment (yet still meaningful). The two initiative leads support the program leads. 

Events and Programming

When starting an allyship group, you don't want to take on too much too soon, but you also want to have enough happening that your program has life to it. Below are the events and programs I recommend you start with.

Town-hall brainstorm

Do a condensed version of the town-hall brainstorm. It basically entails brainstorming, documenting, and distributing information on how underrepresented colleagues at your workplace would like others to support them. The end result is a one-page or short handout on what allyship means to the underrepresented group at your company.

Short weekly emailsign up with Allies at Work

Get colleagues signed up for the Allies at Work email course. It's free, short, and impactful. A lot of content can be taught through email in a six month period. You can forward this link to signup: https://alliesatwork.com/newsletter and you can sign yourself up with this button below

Allyship commitmentssign up with Allies at Work

Signing on to these commitments will be what constitutes an official member of your group. Allyship members choose commitments for themselves from a list of options. Each month, they're reminded of the commitments they selected via monthly emails, and are asked to evaluate themselves on how they've done.

Allies at Work can help you manage the logistics by having  your members use our commitment form https://tinyurl.com/allyshipcontract We can also work with you to create a unique version for your company

Educational Print Materialsdownload resources from Allies at Work

Handout educational print materials on allyship best practices. These are especially great to have at the end of your allyship events so that people who are inspired to learn more can easily do so.

We have ready-to-go materials and templates, and we can also help tailor our offerings to your specific needs. Email print@alliesatwork.com

Small group conversation event

Coordinate small groups to discuss inclusion dynamics, current events, and hot topics. This is a great kick-off event that participants enjoy and that isn't difficult to organize. 

Recruiting and sign-ups

To get participation and members, reach out to folks in your network first. Tell them a little about the allyship initiative and ask if they'd want to participate. After an initial round of reaching out one-on-one, you can engage in mass communication.

Evaluations

Do some simple evaluations after a few months and at the end of any event to get feedback on how the events and initiative as a whole could be better.