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Multicultural Women’s Network: Allison Violette

Over the next few weeks, Front Row will spotlight female employee voices from throughout ESPN. These voices all come from ESPN’s new employee-led group, The Multicultural Women’s Network. This group was built specifically to focus on connecting, developing and elevating women of color. These women along with many allies at the helm aims to celebrate and empower the intersection and layered complexity of race, gender, and culture that makes up the core of who we are.

Photos: Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images

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“It’s our duty to be allies, and it’s so important to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Allison Violette

Allison always believed everyone should be treated equally and have the same opportunities, but as she grew up she realized she’d been sheltered and privileged, unaware what the world could be like for many others. In her late teens, she began to understand the multiple layers of systemic racism and inequality that have taken their toll on countless communities nationwide. Allison is thrilled to be a part of the MWN to help promote women of color and engage as an active ally for all of ESPN and TWDC. Allison has been with ESPN for six years and works as a Resource Coordinator.

What is the importance of genuine allyship as we move forward together?

“People like myself, raised with white privilege, are often uncomfortable being exposed to the reality of the country and the world. It’s our duty to be allies, and it’s so important to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Take the time to have difficult conversations with friends and family, try and open their eyes to what really is happening if they’ve been resistant to see or acknowledge it before. If you see something, say something publicly and with conviction. Make sure there is diversity in the room and that all voices are being heard. Don’t dismiss what others are saying because you aren’t personally experiencing it. Being an active ally is one of the most important roles you can be at this time.”

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