Being an Ally and In Kinship 

In the field of social justice studies, the idea of being an ally to another person or group of people has become a key concept in examining issues of oppression, privilege, colonialism, and what it means to be a settler on colonized territory. When people form an alliance to speak out against prejudice, oppression, and discrimination, people who are the target of that prejudice are not the only ones who benefit. They may be the ones who most directly benefit from efforts to combat prejudice, but all of us benefit.  

Becoming an ally can be an arduous process. But it is a process we must all engage in if we care about the marginalization of our brothers and sisters and want to engage in the struggle for social justice. Here are a few things to remember when engaging in this process. 

  • Learn to listen - listening to a diversity of voices is important because no one person speaks for an entire marginalized group. Listening to many voices will reveal the crux of the issue.  
  • Never stop learning - it is not the job of people in marginalized groups to educate others. We are all responsible for becoming familiarized with the issues we want to advocate for.  
  • The work never ends - oppression is constant and takes many forms. Therefore, we must be constantly fighting against injustice, in all its forms and at all times. 
  • Community is central - we understand that no person is an island unto themselves. Because of this truth, no one can be an ally in isolation. The ally must be part of a community and call others to that community.  
  • Being an ally isn't a status - "ally' is not a label we just give ourselves; it is a process that takes time and requires us entering into relationships with those we seek to support. Ultimately, our support must be accepted based on the trust conferred upon us.  
  • It is not about you - the hard work of justice is not about any one individual. It is about the community. An ally does not need the spotlight; rather an ally provides support to others rather than promoting his/her/their own work. We are not to speak for the marginalized and oppressed, rather we are to create the conditions and platforms where the marginalized will speak for themselves. 

True Allyship is about Kinship. The goal is to move from being an ally to being in kinship, relationship beyond measure. Liberative kinship means we learn to let go of all the ways we use a limited understanding of identity to build walls to protect ourselves from the pain, suffering, and joy of others. We locate ourselves with the marginalized, the powerless, and the voiceless. When we are in kinship, we hold space and honor all because kinship seeks to serve all people in a safer, inclusive, and accepting way. 

SRJC Ally-Kinship Relatives

Eric Atkinson – English 
Giovanni Alejo– Veterans Success Center
Ameya Bela – Kinesiology, Athletics, and Dance 
Ben Benson - Emeritus Anthropology Professor
Wanda Bynum - EOPS 
Beatriz Camargo – Outreach Services  
Nancy Chinn – Disability Resources and Veterans Success Center 
Rima DasGupta – Sociology 
Wayne Downey - Psychology 
David Escobar - Associate Counseling Human Services Instructor
Loretta Esparza – Library & Information Resources 
Robert Ethington – Student Services 
Alexa Forrester - Philosophy 
Angélica Garcia – Superintendent/President 
Terri Gutierrez – Information Technology/Web Design Specialist
Michael Hale - English
Robert Holcomb – Vice President, Academic Affairs 
Sarah Hopkins – Human Resources 
Linda Jay – Human Resources 
Kate Jolley – Vice-President, Finance and Administrative Services 
Jurgen Kremer - Psychology 
Laura Larqué - History 
Donna Larsen – Art/Studio 
Regina Mahiri – Black/African American Student Support Center/Sawubona Center 
Davis Mannino - Psychology 
Sean Martin - Philosophy 
Leslie McCauley – Theatre Arts 
Kyle McHarris– Theatre Arts 
Emily Melville – Theatre Arts/Fashion 
Theresa Molino - Anthropology 
J. Mullineaux – Foundation 
Karolina Nazario – Executive Assistant, Academic Affairs 
Araceli Osorio – World Languages/Spanish 
Jessy Paisley- Counseling 
Elyse Petit – World Languages/French 
Katrina Rahn – Library/Learning Resources  
Leila Rand – Information Technology/Web Developer 
Ron Redmon – Health Sciences 
Roam Romagnoli - English 
Heidi Saleh – Art History 
Solen Sanli Vasquez - Sociology 
Coleen Scott Trivett – Theatre Arts/Costume 
John Shillington – Theatre Arts 
Nick Simko – Art Photography 
Nicole “Nikki” Slovak - Anthropology 
John Stover – Sociology 
Jeremy Smotherman – Office of Research 
Sussanah Sydney – Human Resources 
Jerry Thao - Counseling 
Ivan Tircuit – Philosophy 
Erica Tom – English 
Pam Wittenberg – Agricultural & Veterinary Technician Program 
Sarah Whylly – Philosophy 
Catherine Williams – Psychology 
Kent Wisniewski - Anthropology