What is an Affinity Group?
The term affinity group is used as a bringing together of people who have an identifier in common, e.g. race, gender, religion, family status, etc. Affinity groups are for individuals who identify as members of the group and can speak to the experience of being a member of the group from the “I” perspective. This year we will have the Soul Sistas (African-American), the Asian Pacific Islanders, the Multi-Racial, the White, and the Latino/Latina Affinity Group meetings. (Borrowed from NAIS People of Color Conference)
Affinity groups can and do act as a support system for members of the group.
- Affinity groups can help identify, interpret, interrupt and dismantle sources of oppression or discrimination.
- Affinity groups are safe spaces.
What is an Alliance Group?
The term alliance group is used as a bringing together of people who have a common commitment to an identifier group, e.g. race, gender, religion, family status, etc. Alliance groups are for individuals who identify as members of the group and/or as people who support and stand in solidarity with that group. (Borrowed from NAIS People of Color Conference)
The MS SOC Mentoring Program continues to provide community support for any and all students who identify as Black/African/African-American, Asian/Asian-American, Middle-Eastern/Middle-Eastern American, Native-American/Native/American Indian, Latinx/Hispanic, and/or of Bi-racial/Multi-racial descent.
Sister to Sister
Brother to Brother
Asian American Affinity (Triple AC)
Jewish Student Coalition
- Adoptee Affinity Group
- Black Men United (BMU)
- Black Student Union (BSU)
- Body Image
- Female Asian Meetinghouse (FAM)
- Feminism for Those Marginalized by Gender (FMG)
- First Gen
- Hispanic or Latinx Affinity (HOLA)
- Jewish Student Coalition (JSU)
- Middle Eastern and Arab Affinity Group
- Muslim Student Association (MSA)
- Reimagine Families
- Sikh Affinity Group
- South Asian Affinity Group
- Student Affinity Leadership Council
- Students for Socio-Economic Awareness
- Triple A
The Adoptee Affinity Group seeks to support adoptees in the GDS community by providing a space and network to support, affirm, discuss, and consider the breadth of what being an adoptee means. This necessarily can include taking and making opportunities to interact with the broader community regarding notions and connotations that tend to go along with being an adoptee.
The goal of this affinity group is to create a safe space for black men at GDS, as well as get black men at GDS involved in their communities. The BMU is meant to be a place where black men can express how they’re feeling without being judged or criticized and to connect the black men in GDS to create a bigger community and build bonds through mutual experiences. The BMU will be heavily involved in community outreach programs like soup kitchens, packing bags for the less fortunate, etc.
The Be Body Positive Model is comprised of five core Competencies (Reclaim Health, Practice Intuitive Self-Care, Cultivate Self-Love, Declare Your Own Authentic Beauty, and Build Community), that embody the fundamental skills we can practice on a daily basis to live peacefully and healthfully in our bodies. When we become proficient—competent—at using these skills, we are able to care for our whole selves from a place of self-love and appreciation, which allows us to act on our purpose and life goals.
FAM is an open space for Asian American Pacific Islanders identifying as non-male. Our affinity group is meant to provide a safe space where non-male API members can relate and find a community within the broader API spectrum to talk about our shared culture, specifically how it relates to our identity.
FMG is an affinity group made up of GDS students and faculty who describe themselves as being marginalized by gender identities. FMG embraces the truth that gender is neither binary nor fixed and that gender marginalization takes many forms and manifests itself in many ways. FMG comes together as a feminist collective to explore and affirm the multiple feminisms that arise out of shared beliefs and also out of separate and uniquely intersecting affinity identities, including race, class, and sexuality.
A space for those who self-identify as immigrants or children of immigrants. We seek to provide a safe space for first-generation students to come together to embrace and discuss their common experiences. By creating an environment for students to engage in invigorating discussions ranging from parental pressures to assimilation, we hope to provide a comforting space for students who may not identify with the majority of the GDS population.
JSU strives to create a space where Jewish students can discuss, reflect upon, and celebrate Jewish identity, history, and culture. Through meaningful conversations, the Jewish Student Union seeks to instill confidence, a sense of community, and a stronger understanding of Jewish identity in its members.
MEAA is an affinity group for anyone in the GDS community who is from or identifies as Middle Eastern, Arab, Arab-American, or Middle Eastern-American. Any and all religions and faiths are accepted and welcomed. This group provides a place for discussion about our lived experiences at GDS and in the world and a way to meet other people on similar backgrounds in our school community.
MSA is an affinity space for Muslims at GDS for the discussion of the experiences of Muslim students with regard to their religious beliefs, and the education of the GDS community on the religion of Islam. The MSA hopes to establish a community within GDS for students who identify as Muslim -- to any degree, from any sect -- or come from a Muslim family, where they may share their experiences. MSA strives to give voice to a minority at GDS, and advocate for education of the student body on the subject of Islam.
This Affinity Group focuses on providing support and community for children of what is considered, nontraditional households. This includes but is not limited to divorced parents, blended families, single-parent households, raised by non-parents, two dads, two moms, and/or more. We will be focusing on the dynamics around a “normal” family and experiences coming from a nontraditional one.
Sikh Student Association is a space for students who identify with the religion of Sikhism to be in a safe environment to discuss their culture, and beliefs, and to create awareness for this minority religion. This group provides a place for students to discuss and share their experiences and backgrounds with other members of their community.
SPECTRUM is a space for the support of and conversation between members of the GDS high school community who identify as LGBTQ+. With an open-mindedness towards all identities within the LGBTQ+ community, including, but not limited to, gender and sexuality, SPECTRUM seeks to allow a safe space to discuss the experiences and feelings of navigating both GDS and the larger world.
The Student Affinity Leadership Council is a group of high school affinity group leaders and their faculty advisors. Student co-leads are required to attend monthly meetings as ambassadors of their group. The purpose of student leadership council meetings is to bring greater awareness to the inner workings of affinity groups and to gain knowledge on how they can set agendas for each of their affinity group meetings. Additionally, they come together to develop leadership skills, collaborate on programming initiatives and discuss different opportunities where they can engage with students from other divisions. Outside of meetings, students have the opportunity to host workshops and provide input for programming that is directly related to their affinity group.
YMOC is an affinity group for all GDS High School men who identify as a young man of color. The term “young men of color” includes men or boys who are from Black, African American, Asian American, Middle Eastern American, American Indian, Native American, Latino, Hispanic, and Multiracial or Multiethnic backgrounds.
YWOC is an affinity group for all GDS High School women who identify as a young woman of color. The term “young women of color” includes women or girls who are from Black, African American, Asian American, Middle Eastern American, American Indian, Native American, Latino, Hispanic, and Multiracial or Multiethnic backgrounds.
- Alliance of Anti-Racist Educators (AWARE)
- Asian Pacific Island South Asian Affinity Group (APISA)
- Black Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
- LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
- Staff of Color (SOC)
Providing a safe space to celebrate Asian culture, explore one’s identity, and understand Asian and AAPI heritage. Develop better support for the AAPI students and families. Develop a sense of community in the Affinity Group fostering an inclusive environment where people discuss experiences in their professional and personal lives. Discuss possible future meetings to connect with the student affinity groups. Discuss ways in which to highlight and celebrate Asian and AAPI heritage within the school community, especially during AAPI month in May.
- Asian American Pacific Islanders and Allies Affinity Group (AAPI)
- Black Parent Resource Group (BPRG)
- Hispanic and/or Latinx and Allies Affinity Group (HOLA)
- IGE Food Allergy Parent and Guardian Affinity Group
- LGBTQ Affinity Group
- Parents of Students of Color (POSOC)
- Single Family Affinity Group
- South Asian Parents and Allies Affinity Group
- White Anti-Racist Alliance Group
The term “Students of Color” includes children from Black/African American, Asian American, Middle-Eastern American, American Indian/Native American, Latino/Hispanic, and multiracial backgrounds. POSOC is open to parents who identify as, or have children who identity as, people of color and their allies.