The Vermont Connection


Viraj S. Patel


This paper is prompted by a single question fueled by a lifetime of wonder. If I, an Asian American, work in the interests outside of my racial group to end a system of racial oppression from which I suffer and benefit from, is that considered allyship? Within the context of working towards racial justice, allyship refers specifically to White people working to end the system that oppresses people of color. By challenging a binary model of allyship, which I argue continues to perpetuate the binary status quo of dominance; I draw upon Paulo Freire’s work to begin a discussion for an alternate way to view acts of allyship that is inclusive of all people. The binary system of viewing race can be challenged by placing such theoretical ideas in the context of a higher education case study in order to show how horizontal oppression can affect the lives of professionals working in the field of Higher Education.