Lori Kielly is an Ally
The Ally employee resource group is a space for any interested employee to learn how to be a better ally to traditionally marginalized or under-represented groups. Allies are people who recognize the inherent privilege they receive from society’s patterns of injustice and systemic biases and take responsibility for becoming educated and changing these patterns.
Allies are critically important to ensuring a safe environment for all.
Our hope is that our profiles shine a light on the work of inclusion — while celebrating diversity and the people in the Berkshire Bank family.
Today we are celebrating Lori Kiely, SVP, Foundation Director
How do you define an ally?
Someone who supports and/or advocates for another.
Tell us about a time in your life when someone stood up for you? How has that moment impacted your life?
I always considered my mom my ally. When I was growing up, whenever I ran into challenges in my life, she was always there for me and on my side. I do that for my daughter today.
How do your hold yourself accountable in your own bias? What self work to you practice? ie. who do you follow? books/readings/articles to reference? or people who have mentored you in your journey?
I always try to check myself if I say something or think something that might be making an assumption based on someone’s look or ethnicity. I previously served on the Board of Multicultural BRIDGE during which I learned a lot.
How do you celebrate the diversity in your life? What direct actions do you take to make sure that everyone is included in all places spaces and settings? Give an example of a time when you created space for others.
I try to attend events that I know will include people from a variety of places and make an effort to get our of my comfort zone.
Ally Employee Resource Group.
Allies can include men who work to end gender bias, white people who work to end racism, heterosexual people who work to end injustices that emerge from a hetero-normative culture, heterosexism, able-bodied people who work to end ableism, and so on.
Allies are critically important to ensuring a safe environment for all. The goal of this ERG is to help the our employees be better allies by learning about the issues affecting groups, working collaboratively with these other groups to strategize through educational programming, reviewing corporate communication efforts — having collaborative calls with other resource groups to educate and hold each other accountable, elevating important topics to employees and management, and organizing celebratory events.
We asked team members to take and share the Harvard Research Implicit Test so we can all be personally reflective on our own biases as we educate our peers, family, friends and colleagues. It also educates & provides our community allyship tools — readings, research & reflections on what it means to be an ally.
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