Active-Allyship: Awareness, Action, Integration


Building Allies was born out of a need for more. In our workshops and trainings, participants are guided through the process of becoming of an active-ally using the experiential cycle. Whether you’re a caring community member, professional therapist, educator, intern, or otherwise, we believe that being an active-ally takes having actionable items to reference, and clear tools to practice. We understand that allyship isn’t a destination. Which is why we believe in building active-allies.

We aim to work with practitioners, professionals and communities who are willing to learn how to identify necessary behavioral shifts to turn their privilege into change. Our belief is that everyone can become an active-ally in a way that makes sense to their work and overall way of being in the world.

An active-ally is someone who witnesses injustice and responds to it in any situation, with actionable awareness.

becoming an active-ally

At Building Allies we root our work in the active-ally model of Awareness, Action, Integration. Our workshops are designed following the experiential cycle and utilizing discussion-based education that creates space for diverse learners. Each phase of the active-ally model engages and guides participants to determine what active-allyship looks like in the context of their personal and professional experiences.


Our Awareness workshops guide participants through specifically designed exercises that offer a better understanding of language, behavior, identities and experiences (ours and others) in relation to the various privileges we hold. Awareness workshops are three hours to one-day in length depending on your group needs.


Our Action Workshops focus on developing specific active-ally behavior. Through exercises, discussion and games, participants will determine tools and resources based on their own lived experiences. Participants engage, practice, and critique active-ally behavior through the various lenses of privilege they hold. Action workshops are one-day to two-days depending on your group needs.


Our Integration workshops are specifically designed to support participants in developing effective organizational shifts including: policy, regulatory and document changes, as well as integrating active-ally practices that can translate to support equality and equity issues in your workplace, community, or educational institution or otherwise.

On the Couch, with Dr. Liana and Margaret - Episode 5/21/17, Interview with Kyle Sawyer

Kyle Sawyer, co-founder of Building Allies, was interviewed on May 21st for On the Couch, with Dr. Liana and Margaret, a podcast about the “psychology and biology of our human existence.” Host’s Dr. Liana, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and Margaret, Trained Psychotherapist discuss the founding of Building Allies, trans issues, ally work and privilege.


Find one of our workshops at an event near you!
Building Allies Characters with Banner
Building Allies Characters with Banner
April 1st

General Public Workshop
Becoming an Active-Ally Phase I: Awareness

Sunday April 1, 11a-2pm
Los Angeles, California @ QYouth Foundation

Presenting: Becoming an Active-Ally to the Trans and GNC Communities

Are you someone who wants to be an ally to transgender and gender nonconforming individuals and communities but aren’t sure how or where to start? Is there a person in your life who identifies as trans or gender non-conforming? Do you know your coworkers or peers engage in transphobic behavior, but you don’t know what to do about it? This workshop is for you! Becoming an Active-Ally to the Trans and GNC communities is designed to engage participants in critical thinking regarding their own identity and experiences in relation to trans and GNC individuals. This is for anyone who wants to begin their process of becoming an active-ally.

April 15th and 22nd

Becoming an Active-Ally, Phase III: Integration

Sundays, April 15th and 22nd
Los Angeles, California @ The Relational Center

Becoming an Active-Ally to the Trans and GNC Communities
14 Continuing Educational Units

This is a two-day Integration workshop that invites participants to learn and implement new vocabulary, map and expand their understanding of trans and gender-nonconforming identities, engage active-ally focused practices, and develop skills that can be used and referenced in therapeutic work.


"Our facilitator was prepared and knowledgeable, and the workshop was extremely worthwhile. People at any level of interest in social equity - from novices to seasoned activists - will walk away with more knowledge, deeper personal understanding, and real-world ways to effect change in their personal and professional lives. I will be recommending this organization to everyone I know!"Sara S.
Sara S.Los Angeles, CA
“Kyle Sawyer's work holds the capacity to cross boundaries as it affords an audience an opportunity to participate in the healing of wounds--some of which they may not even know they have. Kyle brings an audience face to face with the prospect of real democracy and equality through an examination of privilege and inequality that put me on the edge of my seat, and has kept me there ever since.”Donald Strauss, Ph.D., M.F.A.
Donald Strauss, Ph.D., M.F.A.Antioch University Los Angeles
“Kyle Sawyer's Turning Privilege Into Change talk is resonant, honest and enlightening. To speak from personal experience, as Kyle does, is compelling, engaging and informative, while it encourages deep thought about our own roles. The questions and the analysis presented reaches into our minds and into our hearts.”Jane Paul, MA
Jane Paul, MAAntioch University Los Angeles
“Kyle Sawyer has developed a remarkable presentation. It is boldly educational, introducing what may be new language and concepts in a way that people of diverse backgrounds can engage with the ideas. Kyle is a skilled presenter; he draws the audience into the subject matter in an open and affirming way while making a persuasive argument for change."Susan Nero, PhD
Susan Nero, PhDAntioch University Los Angeles
“Kyle's presentation 'Turning Privilege Into Change' at Antioch University has had a profound effect, provoking rich, collaborative interactions that continue to engage social justice practices among faculty, staff and students...both on campus and beyond.”Charley Lang, MFT
Charley Lang, MFTNarrative Counseling Center

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