Students across the University of Michigan have expressed feeling "paralyzed," "resourceless," "frozen," "isolated," and "scared" when met with bias actions or attitudes. The Growing Allies program was developed to assist students with education, self-awareness, practice, and community that will better prepare them to challenge the instances of bias that they witness, therefore making campus a safer place to call home.
April 2007 - A group of staff from several different offices gathered to brainstorm how to address this need.
The Core Group (a name given to describe this key group of organizers) recognized that many communities have identified allies and explored a multiple identity/intersectional approach to allyhood. The program this group would create (later named the Growing Allies program) would facilitate the empowerment, engagement, and development of student allies on campus.
Fall Break 2007 - Growing Allies launched with a 3-day/2-night overnight retreat!
The students echoed many of the same wants/needs as described above and felt empowered to help create what they envisioned. From this point, several students joined the Core Group.
Currently, Growing Allies collaborates with IGR’s CommonGround program to train facilitators, develop curriculum and organize annual retreats. Growing Allies continues to grow as a program, and looks forward to an exciting future.