Important note: This workshop is part of AWARE's Growing Up Indian initiative to foreground the voices of Indian women in Singapore. The allyship workshop is intended primarily for non-Indians living in Singapore who wish to become better allies to the Indian community. If you have questions about this, please email email@example.com.
It’s an unpleasant feeling, but one that, in all likelihood, most of us are familiar with: the dawning realisation that we enjoy privilege that others around us do not. That this privilege—whether of race, gender, sexual orientation, class or more—confers certain unearned benefits onto us, which we may have taken for granted all our lives. That even if we wanted to, there is little we could do to discard or otherwise neutralise our own privilege.
These feelings may rise to the surface with special intensity when we witness discrimination and violence happening to others. We might feel rattled, frustrated, helpless. We might feel a sense of shame that, as the bearers of relative power in a given situation, we have not done enough to prevent oppression and hurt.
What do we do with this uncomfortable knowledge? The answer lies not in ignoring our privilege, or throwing our hands up in despair—it lies in allyship. Positive and productive actions that genuinely benefit people, communities and initiatives that need support. But what does allyship really entail? How can we incorporate an intersectional perspective—the understanding that multiple systems of oppression exist, are interconnected and multifaceted, and must be challenged in multiple ways—into our allyship? How meaningful can allyship be if allies continue to participate in institutions predicated on racism and racialisation? And how do we avoid falling into the all-too-common traps of condescension, appropriation or saviourism?
Join us on 18 February for an intersectional allyship workshop, with a central focus on anti-racist allyship. Informed in part by readings of AWARE anthologies Growing Up Perempuan and What We Inherit: Growing Up Indian, this two-hour session will feature an introductory presentation by facilitator Sharvesh Leatchmanan (Minority Voices Singapore), a community sharing and a small-group discussion. Whether you’re new to the concept of allyship, or you want to refine and expand your existing practice, we welcome you into this space for questions and personal stories that may be difficult to express.
3pm – Introductions and ground rules
3.10pm – “Decoding Allyship and Intersectionality” presentation
3.40pm – Community sharing and discussion
4.10pm – Small group discussions
4.40pm – Facilitator sharing and wrap-up
We want our workshops to be accessible to everyone, and require your generous contributions to make programmes like this possible. While you are welcome to give any amount you wish, we suggest a minimum of $15 per person. No tax deduction will be provided. Note that Eventbrite requires a minimum contribution of $1. If you require a waiver of this minimum contribution, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are unable to accommodate transfers and cancellations if participants are unable to attend after payment has been made.
If you cannot make it on 18 February, or feel more comfortable attending an online workshop, we plan to hold another edition of this workshop over Zoom in March. Register your interest via this form, and you'll be the first to be notified when sign-ups are open.
About the Facilitator
Sharvesh Leatchmanan (they/them) is an MA student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University, where they serve as the Knowledge Mobilization Officer at SFPIRG, a student resource centre dedicated to social and environmental justice. At SFPIRG, they have facilitated intersectional discussions on ecological grief, decolonising mindfulness, anti-racism within healthcare systems and much more, with a specific focus on race and racialisation. Sharvesh is the co-founder of Minority Voices Singapore, a social media platform that raises awareness about the ongoing racism and discrimination ethnic minority communities face in the city-state. With a BA (Hons) degree in Guidance & Counselling, and a foundational background in the performing arts, Sharvesh is motivated by the power of stories and storytelling.
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