New advice column: Dear Ally Skills Teacher

rainbow_arrowDo you have questions about ally skills—how to use your power and privilege to help those with less—but don’t know who to ask? Now you can ask a professional ally skills teacher!

Dear Ally Skills Teacher is a new advice column answering your questions about how to act as an ally in your workplace and community. The column is written by Valerie Aurora, the leading ally skills teacher in the tech industry. She has taught ally skills to more than 2500 people around the world through the Ally Skills Workshop, and made guest appearances on the Dear Prudence podcast and the Captain Awkward blog. Valerie also draws on her ten years of experience working as a software engineer to answer questions specific to the tech industry.

The first few columns will be based on questions frequently asked in the Ally Skills Workshop, a three hour class that teaches people simple everyday ways to use their power and privilege to support people with less. After that, Valerie will answer questions from readers.

You can read the first column, ask a question, or sign up to get columns by email. We also welcome other folks sharing their experience and advice in the comments of each column.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers March 27 & 28, 2019

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this six hour class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions. All of the materials for the Ally Skills Workshop are reusable, modifiable, and redistributable for no additional fee.

Register here for the March 27 & 28 train-the-trainers

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

This training is online using the free Zoom.us video conferencing software.

Prerequisite: You must either have participated in an Ally Skills Workshop, or watched the first hour of the Ally Skills Workshop video.

This training takes place across two days for three hours a day. You must attend both days. The dates are:

March 27 7:00AM – 10:00AM PDT (click here to convert to your time)

March 28 7:00AM – 10:00AM PDT (click here to convert to your time)

Register here for the March 27 & 28 train-the-trainers

If these dates do not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 5-8 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

New: Video of Ally Skills Workshop from Frame Shift Consulting

You can now watch a video of the popular diversity and inclusion training course, the Ally Skills Workshop, from Frame Shift Consulting:

Note: Participants’ comments have been edited out to protect the privacy of participants and are instead summarized by the facilitator.

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches simple everyday ways for people to use their privilege and influence to support people who are targets of systemic oppression in their workplaces and communities.

Watching this video is a poor substitute for participating in a live workshop. That’s because most of the benefit of the workshop comes from having discussions with other participants, which involves practicing ally skills such as listening to marginalized people, taking turns speaking, passing the mic, learning new perspectives, and making decisions on what action to take. Without this participation, the workshop turns into one long lecture. The video is most useful as a way to give people a sense of the content of the workshop and the facilitation style.

If you’re looking for an interactive, immersive, and well-received training on diversity and inclusion, the Ally Skills Workshop might be for you. Learn more about hosting an Ally Skills Workshop at your organization here.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers September 17, 2018

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here:

Monday September 17, 7:00am – 2:00pm Pacific Daylight Time (-0700 UTC)

This event is online using the Zoom.us video conferencing software, which you can install and use for this event for free. There will be a one hour break about halfway through.

If this date do not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 4-7 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers August 7-8 and August 23-24, 2018 (rescheduled)

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here:

Tuesday August 7 – Wednesday August 8, 6:00AM – 9:00AM, via online video (Pacific Daylight Time -0700 UTC)

Thusday August – Friday August 24, 9:00AM – 12:00PM, via online video (Pacific Daylight Time -0700 UTC)

Update: This training has been rescheduled for September 17.

The class is taught across 2 days, 3 hours per day, at the same time each day. Only the first day is listed due to limitations by Eventbrite. This event is online using the Zoom.us video conferencing software, which you can install and use for this event for free.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale. You can request a free ticket or ask questions about which ticket price is right for you by emailing contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

If these dates do not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 4-7 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers January 8 & 12 2018

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this five hour class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here:

Monday, January 8, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, via online video (Pacific Standard Time -0800 UTC)

Friday, January 12, 6:00am – 12:00pm, via online video (Pacific Standard Time -0800 UTC)

This is an online event using the Zoom.us video conferencing software. We will break for one hour about halfway through, with additional short breaks throughout.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale. You can request a free ticket or ask questions about which ticket price is right for you by emailing contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

If this date does not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 4-7 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers June 17, 2017

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this all-day class on June 17, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here: Saturday, June 17, 1:00pm – 7:00pm, via online video (Pacific Daylight Time)

This is an online event using the Zoom.us video conferencing software. We will break for one hour about halfway through, with additional short breaks throughout.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale. You can request a free ticket or ask questions about which ticket price is right for you by emailing contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

If this date does not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 3-5 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.