Ally Learning was created to provide spaces for learning to those who are committed to practicing allyship consistently. We share resources on our website and social media @Allly2Squared. We provide learning opportunities through movies, songs, spoken word, podcasts, articles, and books because we understand that not everyone learns the same way. Most resources are open-access and easy to learn through.

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Learning 101

On February 8, 2020, Ally Squared brought together a group of activists, nonprofit professionals, public servants, and students to talk about what allyship means.

These are some of the responses.

Learn Some Terms

Allyship is the act of supporting individuals or groups who are marginalized by society (e.g. immigrants, women of colour, indigenous people, LGBTQ2S people) to overcome barriers that prevent them from accessing equal rights and opportunities.

An ally is a person who is willing to learn, who acknowledges their identity in relation to privilege in society, who stands up for others and who practices anti-oppression in formal and informal spaces.


In the context of allyship, power is the ability a person has to have a voice, have it matter, and have it heard. This can be in the context of decision-making, government policies, or dailyinteractions with others. Power feeds into broader systems that benefit a dominant group over a marginalized one.


The ability for people with certain identities (race, gender, citizenship status, etc.) to access opportunities (e.g. financial, career, social) over others due to the societal and structural hierarchy influenced by capitalism and colonialism in history and the present-day. In the context of allyship, knowing your privilege is the first step.

Explore this further:


While equality means to treat everyone the same way, equity means to equalize the resources given in order to make sure that the outcome is the same for everyone. This is why, at Ally Squared, we prioritize equity.

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A term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectionality "is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things" 


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Oppression is the act of one group using power for its own benefit while disempowering and silencing
another group. Integrated anti-oppression requires that people examine their own experiences and actions, and critically analyze social structures of power and privilege. It insists that the dominant group recognize the power of its own social locations and how that power results in societal privilege and benefit to the exclusion of marginalized people. 

Explore this further:

Look at Ally Squared's anti-oppression training


The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines Colonialism as a practice of subjugation of one people to another. In the context of allyship and anti-oppression, colonialism is used to describe the colonization by European Settlers in parts of Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas that led to the enslavement, genocide, oppression, and overall subjugation of people of colour in their indigenous territories.

Explore this further:

Read about colonialism in Canada


A white saviour is a white person who acts to help non-white people, but in a context which can is self-serving. Sending unskilled volunteers to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia in order to build houses or enact Western solutions without consultation is an example of white saviorism. This can cause serious harm to communities around the world.

Explore this further:

Read Teju Cole's article

Look at this Instagram account

White Saviorism

Marginalization is the treatment of a person or group as lesser than or external to society. Marginalization excludes these people from opportunities and actively discriminates against them. It is active and embedded in our institutions. This occurs due to negative predominant societal beliefs about the value of people from a particular race, religion, culture, gender, sexuality, citizenship, and/or economic class.