DEI Resource Center

Community DEI Support

Back to Category View

Speak Out, Speak Up, Speak With

Many people want to be an ally to diverse communities but don’t know how to start. Check out these tips on the difference between speaking out, speaking up and speaking with other to promote inclusion an equity. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The goal is to find opportunities to be the better person and improve situations – even when they don’t feel good. Adding fuel to a fire is not the way. Look for choices that don’t take another person’s voice away yet allows them space to notice when correction is needed.





Someone purposely excludes a BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ person during a town hall meeting.

You could raise your hand and let the moderator know you noticed someone was ignored.

You could raise your hand and say, “I believe this person was interested in speaking.”

Someone uses a slur in the presence of a BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ person.


You may want to tell the speaker how wrong and rude they were.

You could look at the offended party and say, “I heard that. How can I support you?”

You notice medical personnel treating people of color or those who “appear” to be an immigrant poorly.

You may feel angry but not say anything, or you may speak up and say, “Hey, that’s not right.”

You could ask the person if they want you to serve as a witness when they file a complaint about the poor treatment they are receiving.

You see a person with food allergies being mocked by schoolmates or a co-worker.

You may want to fire back at the person being mean.

You could offer to walk with the person or ask them what you can do to make sure proper action is taken with school administration or human resources/supervisor.

You notice someone in your support group is constantly ignored when they talk.


You may want to speak up in the group setting and say, “I noticed certain people are constantly overlooked and I want to change that.”

You could speak privately with the support group leader about ways to include everyone. You could also take a moment to speak with the person who was ignored so they know they have an ally.

You realize colleagues at work don’t include your co-worker who is in a wheelchair in after-work events.

You could say, “I won’t go to any more events until that person is invited.”

You could determine whether the person is being excluded or previously told people they aren’t interested in after-work events. You could offer to have lunch with the person or talk to your colleagues if they are receptive. If the situation is truly discriminatory, you could offer to support your colleague if they want to make a formal complaint.

You see the menu for a company picnic and there are many allergens as well as non-kosher foods on it.


You could go to the planner and tell them they are “not inclusive and you don’t appreciate it.”

You could offer to join the food committee and survey employees to gauge dietary needs and restrictions.

You notice all of the photos on a children’s program brochure have only white, abled boys on it.


You could confront the person who approved the brochure and tell them you feel they are prejudiced.

You could reach out to the person who created the brochure and offer help because you noticed not everyone in the community was represented. You could show them examples of brochures that are more inclusive.

You notice a same-sex couple is shunned at a PTA event.

You could yell out, “There is no room for homophobia here.”

You could introduce yourself to the couple and then introduce them to other parents. You could ask the couple if they would like to create a subcommittee to work on creating more inclusive spaces. You could have a conversation with the PTA leadership to let them know that you noticed bias at an event.


Download FAACT's Speak Up, Speak Out, Speak With handout.