Why We Need Allyship w/ Terri J. Vaughn, Michael Hoffman & Dougie Cash


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Welcome back to FROM WOKE TO WORK: The Anti-Racist Journey. On this episode host, Kamala Avila-Salmon, discusses the next level on the journey, ALLYSHIP. Let's be clear, you are not an ally just because you think you are. You are also not an ally just because you would like to be. You are not an ally because you have Black friends. You are not an ally because you think the cops that killed Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and Jacob Blake and so many others should be locked up and stripped of their badges immediately. That is because ally is a verb. It is a set of consistent actions to interrupt and disrupt the status quo of systemic racism and anti-Blackness when you see it. It is DOING things- it is not feeling things or thinking things or reading things. It is ACTION, not words.

To have this discussion about the importance of real, true allyship, Kamala is joined by a powerhouse panel of guests: actress, producer and director Terry Vaughn, Overbrook Entertainment Producer and Development Executive, Dougie Cash, and marketing professional Michael Hoffman specializing in the cross-section of entertainment and digital communities.

Jump straight into:

(00:44) - The definitions of true allyship - “Ally is someone who will speak up and go to bat for you when opportunities present themselves that fit you. An ally is really someone that puts their caring into action.”

(09:57) - The intersection between marginalized communities - “Sitting in that place of privilege within my own marginalized community helps make me aware of the importance of making time and space to support those around me who don't have those experiences.”

(16:41) - It was the year of 2020: The sudden (and quite upsetting) US’ racial awakening- “It made me think about just us as a race and how much trauma we've all been carrying.”

(27:04) - Tokenism, allyship and the needed empowerment of the black community - “Somebody that literally stood up and said: ‘I want her, I want to give her this opportunity, I've seen her work. I know how much time she's put into this craft of hers. I want her.’ Everyone that has ever done that for me is black.”

(36:10) - How tangible is your allyship? - “Where are the spaces where what you're doing as an ally is hard? Where are the spaces where it actually is requiring you to give something up and to sacrifice?

(44:20) - The Frequent Ally Questions: On performative allyship and non-black saviors - “Don't take some of the things that are being said personally as if you're being attacked, try to hear it for the context in which it's being spoken. Understand it’s okay to disagree.”


Follow Terri on Instagram and Twitter

Follow Dougie on Instagram

Check out the We Might Need Counseling Podcast

Follow Michael on Instagram

Thanks for tuning in! Don’t forget to follow Kamala on Instagram to learn more. Subscribe, rate and share this podcast so more people can find it, let’s spread the word!

From Woke to Work is a show produced and hosted by Kamala Avila-Salmon in partnership with Julian Lewis and TJ Bonaventura at StudioPod. Edited at Nodalab, art by Tommy Gomez, and music produced by davecantrap.

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