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California State University, Long Beach
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Benefits & Risks of Becoming an Ally

Some benefits of being an Ally

  • You learn accurate information about the undocumented
  • You learn more about the residency and diversity of the AB 540 student population
  • You have the opportunity to develop closer relationships with a wider range of people
  • You may make a difference in the lives of young people who see you speak supportively of their population
  • You empower yourself to take a more active role in creating a broader student success climate on campus
  • You are a role model to others. Your actions may influence others and help them find the inner resources to speak and act in support of undocumented students

Some risks of being an Ally

  • You may become the subject of gossip or rumors
  • You may experience alienation from others who are not comfortable or tolerant of the undocumented
  • Your patriotism, your politics, and your morality may be questioned by people who believe that the undocumented must be deported, even if the children are here through no fault of their own
  • Others may speculate about your motivation and wonder what is in it for you
  • You may become a target of discrimination
  • Due to past negative experiences, undocumented students may not trust you and may question your motivation

Adapted from Evans N.J. & Wall V.A. (1991), "Beyond Tolerance: Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals on Campus”. Alexandria, VA: American College Personnel Association and CSULB Safe Zone Becoming an Ally.