Here’s what a group of colleagues (myself included) did yesterday at my law school. Fourteen faculty and staff members joined together and distributed to all staff and faculty mailboxes the following signed letter and a sticker that reads “Be an Ally. Be the Change.” (available for purchase from here; shown above).
We are saddened by news reports of elementary, secondary and college students who are subject to bullying and harassment, seemingly because of their sexual orientation.
Conscious of our roles as teachers (of adult students, but teachers all the same), each of us feels need to express in a visible way that, as individuals, we respect and value difference at our law school, in our larger communities and in our profession.
To create and foster a welcoming, supportive and tolerant community requires repeated affirmation of the humanity of others. Each of us proposes to take modest, affirming action by putting on our office doors a duplicate of the attached sticker. It reads: “Be an Ally. Be the Change.” We invite you to do the same, if you feel comfortable doing so.
The sticker’s phrase is linked to the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s annual “Ally Week.” The purpose of Ally Week is to make visible and to support all of those who are allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment. This year, “Ally Week” is from October 18-22, 2010. We hope that, long after the particular week is over, our stickers will serve as visible symbol of our commitment to a diverse community in which all people can flourish.
Anyone who would like to use the text for a similar distribution at one’s home institution is welcome to do so.