A person that is a member of one or more dominant or majority groups who through advocacy for and solidarity with the oppressed, takes actions to disrupt oppression in its varied forms. They cannot self-define as an 'ally,' but must be claimed as such by the group they strive to ally themselves to. This requires a deep understanding of one’s own privilege in relation to the particular groups they hope to be an ally to as well as acting in ways that amplify the voices of the oppressed group(s) over their own. Allyship must never become about the “good deeds” of the ally, but rather must remain about the empowerment of people who have been disempowered, dehumanized, and oppressed through violent, systemic forms of domination. Allyship is foremost a severance with ones relationship to systems of domination so that authentic relationships can be built with the oppressed.
Bishop, Anne. Beyond Token Change: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression in Institutions. Hignell Printing, 2005 As the title suggests, Bishop examines the cycles of oppression in large institutions, using as an example, efforts to challenge sexism and racism in a large university. Combining case studies and theory, Bishop provides a powerful analysis of how power is used to maintain oppression, and the ways in which structures and the people in them collude to do this. She lays out the stages of resistance to change that often occur within large institutions, and makes it clear that institutional change requires stamina and is often met with more failure than success. Bishop also provides very useful practices for individuals to prepare themselves to be effective change agents, and models for undertaking structural change.