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When you talk about allyship or being an effective ally, it really starts with understanding the contexts that surround the issues that you want to support with. There is no excuse for this and am appalled by the the hostility and unrestrained anger directed against a particular group or entity because they think they hold the moral high ground on the issue.
Here are some of the things that are not allyship:
1. Taking sides and making comments without understanding and knowledge of the issues, e.g. companies doing Black hiring, promotions, or donating as part of 'looking and feeling good' without the benefit of embedding these principles as areas for action.
2. Being supportive doesn't mean taking a blind eye on excesses. If your partner or the party you're siding with has committed a grave error of judgement or seemed too morally superior and doesn't receive constructive comments from the other parties, it's better to point that out early on before the real crisis starts.
3. Don't mouth word salads that seemed to be the flavor of the month and be gone in the new few months. It becomes pathetic when you sound like a parrot talking about decolonialization, white supremacy, apartheid, and other concepts that pit people against one another as a zero-sum game. Chants like from the river to the sea is a nice slogan but totally stupid. It calls for the total annihilation of a state. Regardless of where you stand in the Israel-Palestine conflict, it's like putting coal in already burning situation. It masked the real issues at hand, and in practically, these word salads do not make sense in real-time cessation of hostilities much less the deep-seated anger, hatred, and trauma experienced by many parties.
Being an ally should be informed by reason and not by zealotry based on misinformation and fake news. Check your facts and know that there is definitely a more peaceful and less confrontational method of getting into solutions. The biggest obstacle is the mindset that the world needs to change because a few people said so.
Are you an ally or a complicit part of the web of agitation for the sake of stirring more conflict and paranoia? If you're not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
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With the world on Gaza these days, there's a call for ceasefire but not a call for peace.
Peace is surely underrated, underexplored, underinvested, and under-committed in this specific conflict. Revenge in this situation is overemphasized, as in the use of military might.
Aside from Israeli and Palestinian deaths, Hamas as a terrorist organization is not vilified as much as the Israel-Arab animosities more aroused than ever. Pitch forks on both sides including the mainstream media showing its partiality on the issue.
Peace whether in the form of multilateral diplomacy, Qatari-based leadership, or an Arab League-UN combination should be explored to the maximum. Israel should be restrained from exacting more harm on civilian population in pursuit of Hamas' leaders and Hamas must be pressured by its allies and friends to release the hostages. A ceasefire doesn't mean that Hamas had won or giving Hamas a congratulations. They can always continue to fight to get their aims but the Palestinians have been bombed enough.
If the lessons of the Oslo Peace Accords can come alive again, they need people from the Israeli side who can broker long-term peace and not just the sure military victory from a terrorist organization. The Palestinians need better leadership too. The Palestinians deserve a better deal post-Hamas and that they should govern better than what their leaders did a decade ago.
Let's not let history repeat itself.
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As a new instructor in a university way back circa 2000s, I was mistaken to be a student trying to attend a faculty orientation training program. When I told the nun I am an instructor, her eyeballs grew big.
As a consultant in a room of community service providers, they think I was there trying to get their monies out of their budget into my pockets. People have stereotypes of consultants. I told them, " I'm just here to help."
As a Filipino immigrant, I was always perceived to be a caregiver or a nurse by way of just knowing my ethnicity, they could guess my employment or occupational interest somehow. I usually told them otherwise.
As a minority writer and author of a commercial book, my publisher was perceived to be more partial and welcoming of unheard and non-mainstreamed voices in the sector. What's wrong with that?
As a job applicant before, I was told that they are looking for a senior professional who had previously taken executive-level positions. I had to do a short litany of what I had accomplished at a younger age. Age is not a defining factor of competence.
As a diaspora in Canada, some people assume that I have married my husband to get permanent residency and citizenship. My husband is quick to correct that notion.
As an instructor, I was told that my stories tend to convince them that I am an expert in the course. Yes, I'm really the expert. That's why they've better listen up.
As a social enterprise, I was told that I'm very entrepreneurial. I had to be. I'm running a business not a charity. Even charities must be entrepreneurial to survive.
Mistaken notions perpetuate when you don't enlighten them in that moment. Surely, we all have the fair share of these on a regular basis. What matters is what we say and do when we catch them.
You may only have one chance. Do it well.
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I get some really nasty reviews from time to time.
Because of the anonymity factor, they tend to get too overly negative or too overly positive which defeat the purpose of constructive feedback.
Overly negative is downright vindictive. They have the beef. Maybe I caught them cheating, gave a zero mark for tardy submission or something else. If I am speaking, maybe I left an important point - tapping them on their backs for a job well done rather than challenging them with their paradigms and mentalities.
I can't fake this. The President of the club told me to challenge the members to think different. I did with gusto. After the presentation, he reverted to saying that I missed the mark in giving them lots of praises. What in the world was that?
If I will review each of those reviewers and commenters, I would surely get back to them with some great reviews about them. Tit-for-tat, right? No.
As always, we win some, we lose some. But we need to be prepared for both at all times.
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An association executives told a crowd that in her next strategic planning exercise, she will hire this person who happens to be a member of the association and had been waiting for her turn to be contracted.
It seemed that they get to contract only those consultants that are already part of the association for the longest time.
It seemed that it's part of the reward and seniority system.
It seemed that looking beyond their walls is counter to how they operate and think.
It seemed that for all their talk on innovation and fearlessness, they fear outside experts and perspectives.
It's the same thing when a senior executive at an academic institution noted that they only get the big firms for management consulting. Why? What's the point?
We can't lie about where our loyalties ultimately rests. Usually, relationships fossilized and so does thinking and then it becomes a force of habit, not a stroke of innovation.