NSF Advance Seminar: Advocates and Allies Programs in Support of Women and Gender Equity

As part of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE adaptation grant at Michigan Tech, Dr. Roger Green, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Dakota State University, will give an open seminar on the Advocates and Allies (A&A) Program. 

When: Thursday, February 14 at 9:05 am

Where: MUB Ballroom A1 

All are welcome to attend.


The focus of this session is on Advocates and Allies (A&A): a program developed by North Dakota State University as part of its 2008 NSF ADVANCE IT grant and later expanded through a collaborative 2015 NSF ADVANCE PLAN-D grant. Advocates and Allies are groups of men working to gain the knowledge, skills, and action commitment to support women and gender equity. Advocates and Allies programs share characteristics typical of many social justice efforts; in particular: the role of an Advocate or Ally is not to be a savior or a fixer but rather to gain personal awareness and work with other men to effect positive personal, unit, and organizational change. An important component of Advocates and Allies programs is the regular institution-level offering of men-only Ally Workshops. Based on success of the Advocates and Allies program, NDSU helped establish Advocates and Allies programs at Lehigh University, Louisiana Tech University, the University of Maine, and West Virginia University. In 2015, NSF awarded NDSU and The Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of North Texas, and the University of Wyoming an ADVANCE PLAN-D grant (HRD-1500604) to refine, expand, and systematically study the effectiveness of Advocates and Allies programs. More recently, NDSU-led Advocates have led Ally Workshops and/or conducted Advocate facilitation at other institutions and organizations including the American Society for Engineering Education, Auburn University, Bucknell University, Clemson University (HRD-1629934), Indiana University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton, the University of Portland, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN).


Even with a growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of Advocates and Allies programs, potential program adopters often ask several recurring questions. What is the difference between an Advocate and an Ally? Why are Advocates and Allies groups of men only? What is an Ally Workshop and why is participation generally limited to men? What topics and materials does an Ally Workshop cover? What do men Advocates and Allies do? What are the essential elements of an Advocates and Allies program? How can an Advocates and Allies program be customized for an individual institution? How can an institution start an Advocates and Allies program? What is the cost of such a program, and how is it sustained? This workshop introduces the Advocates and Allies concept and answers these questions through a combination of presentation slides, resource handouts, and interactive polls and discussions with the audience.


Local action is a primary goal of the Advocates and Allies model. A unique distinction is that Advocates and Allies programs rely primarily on the action potential of men. By utilizing men, Advocates and Allies programs engage organization elements not traditionally or fully involved in gender equity, thereby expanding the capacity for institutional change. This is important since it cannot be solely or even primarily the responsibility of women to remedy acute organizational gender imbalance and inequity; lasting organizational change requires the involvement and investment of the majority group, in this case men.


At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will:

a) Understand the Advocates and Allies program concept and how it can help support women and gender equity.

b) Gain the knowledge and printed resources to help men get started as Allies, including individual actions that men can start taking now.

c) Learn steps to help initiate Advocates and Allies programs at their own institutions.


Roger Green, PhD

Dr. Roger Green is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Dakota State University, where he teaches, conducts signal processing research, and serves as Undergraduate Program Coordinator. Since its inception in 2008, Dr. Green has been a lead member of the NDSU Advance FORWARD Advocates, a group of male faculty dedicated to effecting departmental and institutional change in support of gender equality. As part of this group, he regularly trains men, at NDSU and other institutions, to better serve as gender equity allies. Dr. Green received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming.

For more information, contact Dr. Adrienne Minerick at: minerick@mtu.edu

Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 9:05 a.m.

Memorial Union Building (MUB), Ballroom A1
1503 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931

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