To promote greater awareness of the oppression and injustices the LGBTQ community faces, NYU will host its 6th annual NYU Ally Week from April 11-15.
Hosted by the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, the LGBTQ Student Center and the Office of Residential Life & Housing Services, the week will include panels, film screenings, zone trainings, pledge and photo booth stations to promote allyship at NYU.
CAS sophomore Weston Richey thinks this week is great for generating discussions and inquiry into social justice movements.
“Being an ally to me means to engage with communities to which you don’t belong,” Richey said. “And to be willing to participate collaboratively and openly, versus aggressively and close-mindedly, in the discourse surrounding the issues that affect such communities and movements.”
Richey hopes to see the screening of “Trevor,” a story of a young gay boy who attempted to take his life, on Wednesday. The short film’s director will be at the event for a Q&A session afterwards.
NYU Student Diversity has been promoting the event through its Ally Week logo on Facebook and Twitter profiles, its Buzzfeed quiz about allyship style and its social media hashtags #WhatsYourAllyshipStyle and #NYUAllyWeek.
LS freshman Lois Evans thinks Ally Week is especially important this year, considering what happened this fall with NYU standing in solidarity with Mizzou and more recently with the Kimmel sit-ins surrounding the “ban the box” movement. As somebody who regularly volunteers and engages in discussions of race and social justice, Evans looks forward to the variety of events this week offers.
“As a university, we have the opportunity to educate ourselves and our peers about the experiences of people outside of ourselves and our respective privileges,” Evans said. “We also get to learn how to lend a helping hand or voice to the myriad of groups and individuals who are fighting to be heard.”
Stern freshman Kobi DeVore is looking forward to attending the Black Girl Dangerous conversation hosted by Mia Mckenzie with her sister. DeVore said it was her sister who first taught her about what it means to be an ally and giving her the confidence to fight for what she believes in.
“To me, ally week means celebrating the beauty of being unapologetically you,” DeVore said. “Since college, I’ve started my search for identity, and being with people who aren’t afraid to be themselves empowers me to love who I am and what makes me unique.”
CAS senior Noah Kreski anticipates the eye-opening events Ally Week normally has, and he aims to develop ways to help others during the week.
“Ally Week, to me, is about conversations,” Kreski said. “Engaging with people and understanding the ways that we’re all connected, and how that should inform everything we do moving forward. We’re at such a critical point in a lot of movements, and the more that we can all help one another, the better things will be.”
CAS sophomore Annesha Sengupta said Ally Week makes everyone aware of their role in the development of these issues.
“It’s an awesome way to draw attention to salient issues,” Sengupta said. “For me it’s about supporting those around me, and being cognizant that everything I do, even the little things, can send an important message.”
A version of this story appeared in the Monday, April 11 print issue. Email News Team at [email protected]