Human Rights: Allies and the Practice of Human Dignity

I have a friend who is a little older than I. He has been involved in activism for marginalized communities for decades now, and I consider him a mentor, as he is always on top with the most up-to-date trends and learnings within the larger human rights universe.

Just a year ago, my friend turned me onto this essay, which is one of the best and most authentic pieces I have ever read on the subject of building alliances towards the goal of attaining a society based on equality and rights for all. I would like to see this article become a required text for young people learning about human rights, race, gender, LGBT issues and equality. It would go a long way in softening the unnecessary adversarial stance against majority identity groups and reducing the dehumanization and stereotyping of “the enemy”.

 Activist leaders and progressive educators exercise immense power and influence over young, impressionable people searching for purpose and belonging, and it seems important to be responsible with that influence by teaching compassion alongside outrage.
Treating allies with dignity is not coddling or kowtowing to power, entitlement, or privilege. It is the call to practice the principles we wish to promote. As this essay tells us, it is a disciplined political act to steadily work at building the coalitions and sustaining the relationships that will help us get from here to there.

Because in the end, Nicholas Powers reminds us…. love is thicker than blood.


In Praise of Allies: Wherever we’re going, we’ll only get there together