Writing prompts can help give us content ideas or alleviate writer’s block when it strikes, but they can also be an opportunity to pause and reflect. We can use them to practice gratitude but also challenge ourselves to examine how we practice our humanity.
This may sound really heavy and possibly unlike how we’ve used writing prompts in the past, but by looking at what we’re putting out into the world, we can remind ourselves that we’re all connected and responsible for making a difference.
When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something. John Lewis
We can all add to, share, and stand up for what’s good, even when we don’t see much of it around us or within us at times. Nobody is perfect, nobody is a paragon of virtue, everyone is a complex mix — but everyone has something that they can work on that puts a little more actionable empathy out into the world.
Allyship, to put it simply, is about understanding what needs to change within ourselves and within society — and doing something about it. It’s recognizing where social injustice, oppression, mistreatment and marginalization exists and acknowledging that even though we might not be impacted by these things personally, it’s our fight too.
Here are 10 Writing Prompts to Focus On Effective Allyship:
1. | What are your motivations for being an ally to a particular cause?
2. | Is your allyship performative or actionable? How/Why? Do you know the difference?
3. | In what ways do you make sure you centre the voices and experiences of those who are targetted by social, racial or environmental injustice?
4. | What implicit biases do you have? How do you try to re-educate yourself about them?
5. | How willing are you to speak out when you see or hear something racist or harmful to another group of people? If you have some discomfort with it, why? What can you do to overcome that?
6. | What social privileges do you have? How do you use them or pass them on to benefit those who don’t have them?
7. | When was the last time you stood up against something that was racist or harmful to another group of people? What did you do and how did you make an impact?
8. | What mistakes did you make when being an ally to a particular cause? What did you learn from those mistakes? How did you respond to being corrected or educated about how something you were doing, as an ally, was counterproductive?
9. | How do you educate yourself about injustice? What resources have you used and shared with other allies? How do you ensure that those who are directly impacted by social, racial or environmental inequity do not have to carry the sole weight and responsibility of instructing others about their trauma?
10. | What does the love, care and compassion you show others tell you about yourself?
I really found that thinking about these writing prompts helped me focus on what my role is as an ally and how I can be most effective. I hope you will find them equally as informative — let me know your thoughts.
LGBT Rights – ACLU
LGBTQ Justice – United We Dream | Organizing and empowering undocumented LGBTQ immigrants and allies to address social and systemic barriers that affect themselves and the wider LGBTQ and immigrant community