Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex

Date Published: 5/4/2014

Author(s): Indigenous Action Media

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Summary: This article breaks down the differences between allyship and being an accomplice within anti-oppression work. The authors explore key interventions to disrupt the ally industrial complex by identifying problematic and harmful ways that allies show up in anti-oppression spaces. They explore the many different ways "nonprofit capitalists" commodify and exploit oppressed and marginalized communities for their own benefit and to benefit the activist industry. The authors then offer suggestions to move forward as an anti-colonial accomplice with an emphasis on acknowledgment, following the lead of BIPOC organizers and those most impacted, and collective liberation.

Take Action!

Examine how you have showed up as an "ally" in the past. Use this article to start to dismantle your own beliefs around allyship and find ways to move into an accomplice role by building trust and accountability to local BIPOC-led orgs. "Accomplices are realized through mutual consent and build trust. They don’t just have our backs, they are at our side, or in their own spaces confronting and unsettling colonialism."