Ally is a VERB!

Ally is a VERB!

Business, Human Resources

Author: David King, learning and development activist and ally journey participant

I am a white heterosexual South African male – not your obvious poster person for diversity and inclusion. Nonetheless, I might just use this disadvantage to my advantage.

I am not an expert. I am sharing my lived experience and my call to action, even though I’m going to get it wrong and stuff up (countless times). It’s going to get messy, but I’m committed.

Ally: Definition: a person or group that gives help to another person or group (of Latin origin, meaning “to bind together”)

When I first came across the term allyship, it resonated immediately. I love nothing better than to be initially surprised by a new term and then to be challenged by it. Insights and Enneagram are two examples of assessments which have given me much direction and clarity on my strengths and how others see me. I learnt that I tend to avoid negativity, pain and struggle, as I am a fun-loving, enthusiastic, innovative, strategic optimist. So, I knew I had to lean into the discomfort which I wished to avoid, as that is where I would shine and hopefully be able to make a difference.

Discovering the quote, “diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice”, finally entrenched the meaning of diversity and inclusion for me, and then, “getting comfortable being uncomfortable” catapulted me on a mission to move from awareness through to action! As this is only the start of my formal awakening, I wish to share some of my learnings from ‘experts’ further on in their journey, or those that have lived a discriminated experience.

Thank you to these and countless others that I will meet, watch, read and listen to along the way. Here are some that have impacted me to date:



Take the time to learn and absorb their messages.

I’m on a journey to improve, to be challenged, to get better, to make progress. I will fail, and ask for forgiveness, and request a deeper understanding. Damn it, I’m going to it say…to make the world a better place ?.

“If you have some power, it’s your job to empower somebody else.” Thanks, Toni Morrison, for the call to action (yes, ally is a verb!)

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