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We hear the term “ally” often, and it usually refers to a person who wants to support and advocate for people who experience marginalization yet do not experience that marginalization themselves. The true marks of an ally are actions that demonstrate solidarity with the marginalized. Rather than think of an “ally” as a person, it is more accurate to think of doing “allyship” as a verb. We are not an ally, we do allyship alongside the oppressed, the marginalized, and the overlooked. Cultivating a life of allyship requires work–internal work, interpersonal work, and communal work.

Meet our first writer in our series Allyship: A series towards solidarity, Michael Stalcup.

Play to listen to author Michael Stalcup

For Ralph Yarl, Kaylin Gillis, Payton Washington, and Kinsley White

The wrong house.
   The wrong driveway.
   The wrong car.
A six-year-old’s basketball
   gone astray into
   the wrong front yard.
These people were all shot
   just for showing up—
   just another week in America.
How long, O Lord, must we wake
   up in a country with more guns than people,
   more mass shootings than days?
Rise up, Prince of Peace!
   Put a stop to people profaning your name
   at the altar of God and Guns.
Rise up, King of Kings!
   Pierce the hearts of our politicians
   with compassion, or else with judgment.
Then our children will be able to run free again
   in the world that you have promised—
   where guns are melted into garden tools,
and neighbors pause their planting
   to return a young girl’s basketball
   with a smile.

Michael Stalcup is a Thai American missionary living in Bangkok, Thailand. His poems have been published in Commonweal MagazineFirst ThingsPax, Red Letter Christians, Sojourners Magazine, and elsewhere. He co-teaches Spirit & Scribe, a workshop helping writers to integrate spiritual formation and writing craft. You can find more of his work at

The views and opinions expressed on the Chasing Justice Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Chasing Justice. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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