Allyship is the process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized people and/or groups. When you consistently show up as your most authentic self most students will see that you really mean what you say.

It was great speaking to educators at Suffield Academy's Professional Development Fireside Chat on Wednesday, February 12 about this very topic. So many educators want to be accessible to their students but feel that they don't know how.

Here are 15 ways that you can begin supporting students of color more intentionally!

  1. Explore who you are & what type of educator you want to be?

2. Reflect on times when you were discriminated or judged unfairly due to your identity or perceived identity

3. Provide your full attention to students when they are speaking or sharing their stories with you

4. Acknowledge students’ strengths and contributions

5. Respectfully and genuinely ask questions for clarification

6. Firmly and kindly hold others students and colleagues accountable when they reveal their biases

7. Ask what community cultural norms support students and what can be improved

8. Start conversations with students to ask how you can help and what they are interested in pursuing

9. Support opportunities for students to share their stories through assemblies, social media, community think tanks

10. Advocate for curriculum and all school events to represent more diverse stories and experiences

11. Advocate for All School Diversity, Inclusion, & SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Classes

12. Always be yourself.

13. Make self-care a priority.

14. Make a commitment learning about personal development, diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, and mindfulness

15. Embrace a growth mindset & embrace being uncomfortable without judgement

Keep trying, shining, and blooming!

Bio: Dr. Stephanie Akoumany is the Founder and CEO of Bloom, a leadership, wellness, and community- building media and educationcompany. She is also the host of the Blooming is A Habit podcast. Stephanie is a speaker, researcher, and educator who helps schools and businesses to cultivate cultures that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and holistic wellness.