[Animal Village, also known as Smith Rock, on New Year’s Day, 2020. Photo Credit: Dana Gulley]
When Allyship in Action (AiA) was officially formed in 2019 by founding partners, LeeAnn, Erin, and Kerani, we took a big leap into the unknown while staying grounded in our values of intersectionality, collective liberation, and connection to place.
With Erin’s relocation in 2021 and after almost four years, we are grounded in those same values and our contractor team includes 10 local social justice change makers. In early 2022, as we emerged from a dual pandemic, Kerani and LeeAnn explored ways we could strengthen our partnership and started revisioning our dreams for the company. One key need that emerged was for us to bring on at least one new partner, and Dana was one of the first people we thought of. With a background in mediation and sustainability consulting, we are so grateful for his wisdom, enthusiasm, and support for our growth and exploration as a team and company. We have been counting down to this day when we can officially announce Dana Gulley as the newest partner at Allyship in Action:
“Becoming a partner of Allyship in Action is unlike any of the professional steps I have taken before now. In many of the workplaces I have been part of in the past, the culture overvalued degrees and rewarded perfectionism while externalizing the toll of this culture onto us humans being held to unrealistic standards. This often kept me holding my breath, performing, and surviving. When I began to do the work to align myself and come home to my body, I felt drawn to folks who were also actively unlearning and re-grounding, and I knew I wanted to find spaces where I could learn new ways of being in community. Joining Kerani and LeeAnn as a partner is an important step towards deepening relationships rooted in a respect for my own thriving as resistance—and our collective liberation.
In the words of adrienne maree brown, “what we give our attention to grows.” This moment is an invitation to grow as I practice solidarity and active allyship from my privileged identities as white, able-bodied and masculine presenting. This moment offers many more things: An opportunity to learn more deeply and intentionally from an inspiring collaborative of consultants with dynamic lived experience and wisdom to share. A healing practice to continue unlearning internalized transphobia and homophobia. And joy to be part of a community that is doing “the hard work and the heart work” (thanks liliana!) to center those who have been harmed by systems of oppression, so Central Oregon can be a place for us all to thrive.”
Kerani, LeeAnn, and Dana