On March 16th, Sustainable Concordia held its first Sustain’Alive workshop of 2021. Facilitated by Dona La Luna, a multidisciplinary artist and facilitator, Building Capacity as Settlers was a safe space for people to meet, exchange, and build relationships through dialogue and creative exercises. The goal was to better understand the meaning of allyship and to identify the roadblocks that prevent us from being effective allies as settlers.
What came out through group discussions was that it’s normal to feel lost and anxious and confused. To be scared of making mistakes, to not know what the best thing to do is or when it is your place to speak up. It’s something we all struggle with to an extent – that doubt and anxiety. It can be delicate to navigate through a situation you don’t know enough about when you are afraid to perpetuate harm while trying to help.
To be a good ally, you should aim to support. It’s important to address the issues, but don’t try to make it about yourself. You shouldn’t speak over the people affected by a situation, simply pass their message along and elevate their voices in doing so.
It’s also important to be open-minded and to be able to recognize when you made a mistake. Be willing to listen, learn, and embrace the discomfort you may feel – because it’s not about you.
We need to respect each other, and take the time to listen.
If you are interested in learning more about sustainability organizing, we hope you will join us for the last two workshops coming up in our Sustain’Alive 2021 free online event series:
E-Waste: Let’s Play Our Part (Tuesday, April 6, 2-3:30pm) (Eventbrite link)
The Environment is Intersectional (Thursday, April 8, 5-7pm) (Eventbrite link)
Tiohtià:ke (so-called Montréal) is located on unceded Indigenous territory. It has historically been a meeting place for many nations, with the Kanien’kehá:ka as the stewards. We encourage you to reflect on your current and historical relationship to this land.