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Home   »   BAME Network   »   Allyship


Allyship is about working towards creating diverse and inclusive communities and by standing up for the rights of those who are marginalised. Although you may not be part of the BAME community, you can support this group and make the effort to understand their struggle and use your voice alongside theirs.

Allyship is Active Engagement and Action. Allyship is Not Passive Support

  • An ally supports and amplifies the voice of those who are underrepresented and uses their comparative privilege to do so.
  • An ally will help to lift others up by being their advocate.
  • An ally will share opportunities for the growth and development of others.
  • An ally understands and calls out inappropriate actions and language.
  • An ally recognises systematic inequalities and seeks to address them.

Taken from the NHS equality document on Allyship:

Allyship is about building relationships of trust, consistency and accountability with marginalised individuals and/or groups of people.

Although you might not be a member of an underinvested or oppressed group, you can support them and make the effort to understand their struggle and use your voice alongside theirs.

The Dos

Do be open to listening
Do be aware of your implicit biases
Do your research to learn more about the history of the struggle in which you are participating
Do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems
Do the outer work and figure out how to change the oppressive systems
Do use your privilege to amplify (digitally and in-person) historically suppressed voices
Do learn how to listen and accept criticism with grace, even if it’s uncomfortable
Do the work every day to learn how to be a better ally

The Don’ts

Do not expect to be taught or shown. Take it upon yourself to use the tools around you to learn and answer your questions
Do not participate for the gold medal in the “Oppression Olympics” (you don’t need to compare how your struggle is “just as bad as” a marginalized person’s)
Do not behave as though you know best
Do not take credit for the labour of those who are marginalized and did the work before you stepped into the picture
Do not assume that every member of an underinvested community feels oppressed

Learn more here. 

Books and reading recommended by Imperial College London for BAME Allies, as well as our own suggestions

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni-Eddo Lodge
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
  • The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla
  • How to Argue with a Racist by Adam Rutherford
  • Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini
  • Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • White Privilege, Unpacking the Invisible Backpack by Peggy McIntosh


Please tweet PDA #PDAbame with any books you would recommend to Allies.

David Tyas, a Pharmacist Advisor at the PDA, shares why he became a BAME ally:

“I decided to become an Ally having seen first-hand examples of discrimination against pharmacists with protected characteristics during the disciplinary and grievance meetings I have represented our members in around the country for the PDA since 2009.  I want to support our members by giving advice, guidance and representation when they need it most.”

Collette Bradford, PDA Head of Organising & Engagement, said:

“There are many issues and inequalities in pharmacy we need to address together from unequal treatment and opportunity to the results across universities at Mpharm, to representation in pharmacy leadership, issues in relation to pay, discrimination and many others. The PDA has launched our BAME network to better engage, understand and seek to address some of the issues our members face; to hear them, to give members a safe space to have dialogue and explore options and to give our BAME members a platform to be heard and take action by getting involved.

We know how important allyship is within pharmacy. An ally should have empathy. You don’t have to experience something to have empathy with someone or a cause; it is about feeling that empathy and putting yourself in the position of others ‘walking in their shoes’ and then using that feeling to move you forward to take action – whatever form that takes – to listen – to learn – to understand – to make a change – to challenge – to advocate for – to join – to participate  – to get involved.”

Get involved

Pledge to be an ally on social media #PDAbame – ‘I pledge to be a PDA BAME ally because…

Contact the BAME network:

All contact with the network will be treated in confidence and with sensitivity.

Join the BAME Network today

Pharmacists, pharmacy students and pre-regs can join the PDA now.

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