Want to be an ally to the Black or LGBTQ community, but unsure where to begin? McDonald's Field People Officer, Danielle Harris, shares her advice.


McDonalds Field People Officer an LGBTQ + Black community ally

McDonald's Field People Officer an LGBTQ + Black community ally

 June 25, 2020

Want to be an ally to the Black or LGBTQ community, but unsure where to begin?

'Allyship' is a word used a lot more frequently of late, maybe more than ever before. People and groups everywhere are being called upon to be allies to Black Americans as well as to people who identify as LGBTQ+.

But what does that mean?

As McDonald’s own Wendy Lewis puts it, allyship is about investing your time, your whole self, and standing up and speaking out.

Danielle Harris, Field People Officer in Atlanta, Georgia for McDonald's is a member of the Black community and a proud ally to the LGBTQ community. She shares the importance of different kinds of allyship and how others can choose yo practice allyship in day-to-day life.

A proud ally all her life, McDonald's Danielle shares her own learning, practical advice, and useful tips for being a supportive ally.


Allyship is a choice

"Being an LGBTQ ally is very, very near and dear to my heart. In fact, it's an important part of how I was raised," explains Danielle.

"I grew up in Los Angeles in a family that respected and accepted everyone. I don't have any queer family members, but we were always very supportive of the LGBTQ community – my whole life, we went to AIDS Walks and Pride Parades. My childhood church even performed same-sex marriages – when I got older and realized some churches didn’t marry same-sex couples, I was genuinely shocked."

For Danielle, a lightbulb went off when two of her best friends in college were noticeably struggling with an issue they felt they had to keep to themselves. After they came out to Danielle, she realized the weight of that process and the fear it entails – and Danielle committed to showing up more for them and the LGBTQ community as a whole.

"Now, if I can help others come out or help people feel more comfortable with their identities, I want to. That’s my duty as an ally," explains Danielle.

McDonald's pride

Danielle participating in a Pride Parade.

Key advice for others seeking to be supportive allies

Danielle's advice to those who want to be an ally to the LGBTQ community is as follows.

  • Get involved, make an impact and be there when your LGBTQ friends, family, classmates or coworkers need you to stand alongside them.
     
  • Be there when a LGBTQ stranger needs you to also stand alongside them.
     
  • Use your voice to step in against negative comments and harassment, and let members of the LGBTQ community know they’re not alone.

Don't just be non-racist, be anti-racist

"My own community needs allies, too. I’ve had people ask me how to be a better ally to the Black community, and here's what I can say: it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist. To be a better ally, we need everyone to stand up against racism and call it out even when those who the comments are about are not present," suggests Danielle.

"Listening is another great way to be a better ally to the Black community. Listen more, and be open to educating yourself in ways that may make you feel uncomfortable. The only way we are going to move forward as a country is if we all come together and stand up for what is right. Be a part of the change," she advises.

"If you are already an ally – know that you are appreciated, you are mighty and most importantly, you are needed. Your contributions are meaningful in fighting the good fight."


Work with teams who value diversity and understand inclusion

McDonald's has a strong track record in supporting its diverse workforce and customers.

Learn more about the company and why they believe they have potentially created more economic impact for diverse communities than any other company in the world. 

Explore the wide range of jobs and career tracks on offer with McDonald's - from technology, marketing, people roles to finance and communications roles.

 

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