Student Affinity Groups
It’s not enough to be a diverse and inclusive educational community; what matters fundamentally is the individual’s experience of belonging.
As we define how we look at our curriculum to deepen our participation in antiracist work at St. Paul's, we must actively de-center white supremacist spaces and structures and lift up the perspectives and experiences of those who are not centered societally and historically. Creating time for explicit, courageous conversation about identity and the varied perspectives and experiences within our community is a priority for our school. Our goal is to shift the dominant narrative.
An affinity group is a designated space where everyone in the group shares a particular identity. This identity can be based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, nationality, physical/mental ability, socio-economic class, family structure, religion, and onward. For our students in Grades 5-8, affinity groups evolved around race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
It’s not enough to be a diverse and inclusive educational community; what matters fundamentally is the individual’s experience of belonging. Affinity spaces provide opportunities to be seen, and bring visibility to an identity’s experience and perspective. It’s critical that we provide our youth with avenues to hone their own voices and agency as they explore their own identity. When we can speak our truths and be fully authentic with each other, we build trust in connection with others.