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“In order to become a “trusted ally” to support first generation, Black, and students of color, it’s important to remember:

L -isten without judgment to develop empathy and understanding.

  • Don’t make judgements about students with accommodations, the purpose of these accommodations are to help students with disabilities to have the same opportunities as others.

E -ducate yourself on issues and struggles to prepare yourself to be more supportive.

  • Understand that little gestures can go a long way in helping the students feel comfortable and safe.

A – ware (be) self-aware and aware of others who may be struggling due to social problems.

  • Approach all situations with kindness, you might not know the students’ situation.  Some of these students may not know what a TA is or may not be aware of how you can help them.

D – o seek to know how to fulfill your special duty to uplift, empower, and serve. Some ideas to consider are:

  • Do treat students as individuals and avoid assuming you understand their challenges just by looking at them.
  • Do provide feedback to students that is thorough and constructive, but kind. Remember, this could be the first time this student has written a paper.
  • Be willing to spend extra time helping students who may be from a background that puts them at a disadvantage.
  • Actively reach out to students who are struggling.