Active-Allyship: Awareness, Action, Integration


At Building Allies we root our work in the Active-Ally Model of Awareness, Action, Integration. The Active-Ally model is a guide to a process. It offers a way to think differently, to move and be differently. It offers a different lens to do life through. 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 self and systemic awareness. Self-Awareness looks at how we engage with the world, the ways in which we are perceived, and the ways in which those perceptions create a layer of privilege for us. Systemic-Awareness is about looking outside ourselves. It involves how certain identities are privileged 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 what propels us through the cycle and into new ways of being. Integration is what allows us to grow and become in ways we otherwise would not have been able. Integration is a culmination of our Awareness through Action. And it is also a beginning.
Building Allies Characters 
Building Allies Characters

Turning White Privilege Into Change – In Practice


These questions were asked during our online workshops. This document will continue to grow as more questions come in. The hope is this offers support, guidance, clarity, a reorientation, inspiration, or anything else you might need as you continue this work.

What is The Active-Ally Model?


The Active-Ally Model is a guide to a process. The Active-Ally Model offers a way to think differently, to move and be differently. It does not offer a destination. It offers a different lens to do life through.

What are The Five Tenets?


The Five Tenets offer a space to come back to, a space to inhabit, a space to hold. They are a space to set our struggles and confusions, a place in which we can work with others. The Five Tenets offer a hand, a shoulder…

What are the Three Foundational Understandings?


To step into Active-Allyship, there are three foundational understandings we must embody: understanding privilege, utilizing an intersectional lens, and exposing our implicit biases.

Phase One: Awareness


Awareness is both the first phase and the intermittent step for the other two phases. Without Awareness, Actions will often be misguided…


Phase Two: Action


The Action phase, like Awareness, is not just one way of being. Action can look like educating ourselves. It can look like engaging a stranger, a coworker, or friend…

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


"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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