Episode 8: Allyship

9 February 2022

In this episode, Jaclyn Silbernagel sits down with Hagir Sail to explore allyship.

Published 9 February 2022

Updated 6 October 2023

This episode of Let's Talk Poverty discusses how Enough for All principles like shared leadership, reducing racism and discrimination and dignity for all relate to allyship. Providing ideas about what active allyship looks like, and how it may require people to sit in discomfort and choose not to avoid the work out of fear of making mistakes. It also examines how individuals and organizations can use their privilege to leverage.

In this episode

  • Exploration of what it means to use your privilege to leverage.
  • Why allyship is an action word. Actions can look like being present, consistent, and reflective.
  • How Enough for All principles like shared leadership, dignity for all, reducing racism and discrimination, and trauma-informed approaches relate to allyship.

Three key takeaways

  • Why allyship requires active work including speaking up, sitting in discomfort, active listening, not avoiding the work out of fear of making mistakes, and investments of time and money.  
  • The value of getting to know your neighbour and how developing those relationships creates a community-based safety net.
  • Understanding that part of allyship is creating and maintaining safe spaces for ongoing conversations. Conversations that allow people to practice vulnerability.

Additional learning resources

About Hagir Sail

Described by her community and co-workers as a passionate, values-driven, social justice-minded problem solver, Hagir Sail has dedicated her life’s work to making our city a better and more inclusive place for everyone to live. Hagir has called Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Canada home, and has lived in Calgary since 2006. Hagir is a proud graduate of the University of Calgary’s Political Science Program. After working at the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre as a Resource Worker, Hagir continued to apply her community-building skills at Action Dignity, where she focused on youth programming and policy. In her capacity as Community Facilitation and Engagement Specialist at Vibrant Communities Calgary, Hagir worked to create an environment of growth in our community, particularly for people with lived experience of poverty. Hagir’s passion for community building also extends to her volunteer work, which includes volunteering with the Police Chiefs African Advisory Board, working with the Sudanese community, as well as work with a local organization that promotes access to dignified burial services. Hagir believes that our city can become a better place if we all practice vulnerability with one another. 

About Vibrant Communities Calgary

Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) advocates for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty in Calgary. VCC engages the community using a collective impact approach to poverty reduction and is the steward of Calgary's community-owned poverty reduction strategy, Enough for All. VCC actively guides the implementation of the strategy through advocacy and policy, and by working with community members, organizations and Enough for All Champions. 

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