Active-Allyship: Awareness, Action, Integration


At Building Allies we root our work in the Active-Ally Model of Awareness, Action, Integration. The model is offered as a guide to move through Active-Allyship and work toward turning privilege into change. This model is meant to offer space to cultivate a practice of inquiry. We offer workshops for each stage of the model and guide participants to determine what Active-Allyship looks like in the context of their personal and professional experiences.


Awareness involves holding a personal and systemic awareness. Personal awareness looks at the ways in which we are perceived, and the ways in which those perceptions create access. Systemic awareness is the understanding that there are systems and institutions that grant access to some over others.


Action is relying on our awareness to witness and challenge ourselves, the systems, institutions, and individuals who maintain injustice. Action involves behaving differently and understanding why we must. Action can look like educating ourselves or it can look like engaging a stranger about their bigoted or prejudiced language or behavior.


Integration is a gradual process that requires engaging the five tenets of active-allyship: honesty, grace, vulnerability, witness, and a willingness to allow the unfolding to happen at its own pace. Integration allows us the space to move into new stages of awareness and practice new actions.

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


eyeglasses laying on a magazine

Introduction: Privilege and the Three Phases of Active-Allyship

4/9/2018 – Part 1 of 4

Our vision is to work with those who are willing to turn their privilege into change. It’s not enough to just be aware of privilege—we have a responsibility to do something about it.


"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

sign up for our newsletter

Receive all the latest news from Building Allies. No spam, we promise!