Ally Awards a social movement

Ally Awards a social movement

Ally Awards a social movement

By Ariel Owens

Allies are necessary factors in any kind of social justice movement, and it is vital they are recognized.

Nominations for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning Ally Awards are being accepted until Feb. 28. The effects of positive recognition, as would come from such a nomination, should never be taken for granted.

The allies will be honored at the LGBT and Women’s Resource Center’s 10th annual Ally Awards April 9.

Defending the LGBTQ community isn’t always the popular choice; when people are recognized for being compassionate, it reminds them of why they don’t mind taking a less popular route.

While the nominations are due this month and the recognition ceremony takes place in April, people are encouraged to nominate individuals and groups year round. Lots of people work hard and expect nothing in return, but let’s face it: It’s human nature to be acknowledged. People need recognition.

“When people do what’s right they usually don’t expect recognition, so it’s nice to formally say thank you to those people,” said Molly Holmes, director of the centers.

The concept of recognizing everyone and not making the ceremony about competition is admirable. People shouldn’t be recognized for doing the right thing, but for having the courage to do so even under difficult circumstances. One person’s courage has the power to inspire another.

Allies are brave, compassionate people who are necessary to the social change process. Circumstances for the oppressed can never be improved without someone outside of that minority group standing up for what is right.

“I am impressed and humbled by the things that people do to validate students’ experiences and what they do to make spaces inclusive to LGBTQ students,” Holmes said.

Allies getting an abundance of support has got to be rewarding. Kindness and positivity are contagious. I am a firm believer in recognition, especially when it’s for a cause as important as civil rights.

“Just like you can’t always tell by looking at a person if they are LGBTQ, you can’t always tell if they’re an ally,” Holmes said. “Recognizing those allies is a way to bring that invisibility to light.”

Lauren Teso, an adviser for the National Residence Hall Honorary, said positive recognition is important because “it provides motivation along with giving people the satisfaction that they did a good job.”

Social movements are all about improving life for oppressed groups. They Ally Awards sheds light on LGBTQ awareness and will help keep their movement going strong.