Supporting Healthy Identity Development in a School Community: The Why and How of Racial Identity Groups (CATDC Online)

Apr 30, 2020 1:30PM—3:00PM

Cost $200 members; ($300 non-members)

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Supporting Healthy Identity Development in a School Community: The Why and How of Racial Identity Groups

SESSION 1: April 30, 2020 | 1:30pm - 3:00pm

SESSION 2: May 7, 2020 | 1:30pm - 3:00pm


The term “affinity group” refers to a gathering of people who all share a similar identity.  Purposefully and thoughtfully designed racial affinity groups enhance cross-cultural communication and provide a space for reflection, dialogue, and support. These kinds of groups offer a time and space for empowerment of the individual and of the group within the greater community. At their best, racial affinity groups are a powerful tool in creating an inclusive and thriving learning environment. This two-part series will provide practical tools, resources, and strategies for educators who are currently facilitating, or considering implementing, racial affinity groups.

This workshop is aimed at educators who are seeking to learn more about implementing and leading affinity spaces, including diversity practitioners, deans of students, division directors, and others. Participants will leave with practical tools and resources to support creating and leading their own affinity groups at their school sites.


The first session will focus on the theoretical basis for affinity groups and will include a summary of relevant research. We also look at different kinds of structures for affinity group work based on constituent group (student, faculty, parent). Prior to the first session, participants will be asked to complete two short readings.


For the second session, we will focus on curriculum topics including scope and sequence and sample curricula. Some of this will be done via virtual breakout rooms in racial affinity groups (POC/White). We will then talk about effective communication strategies, and how to engage resistance.



Rasheda Carroll is the Assistant Head for Equity, Inclusion, and Counseling at Westland School in Los Angeles. Prior to her current position, she was the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Wildwood School. She supports personal and organizational growth through reflective processes and skill building at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels. Her research and experience is in intercultural communication, modern and internalized oppression, racial identity development, conflict resolution, team building and organizational change and development. Rasheda is a skilled facilitator, having designed and led workshops and trainings for both youth and adults. She has worked with individuals, schools, community non-profits and private institutions to help create and sustain inclusive organizations and communities for more than fifteen years.


Elizabeth Denevi is the associate director for East Ed, a nonprofit that works with schools nationally to increase equity, promote diversity pedagogy, and implement strategic processes for growth and development. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark College in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Previously, she served as the director of studies and professional development at Latin School of Chicago. At Georgetown Day School (DC) she served as the co-director of diversity and a senior administrator for 10 years. Elizabeth also worked at St. Stephens and St. Agnes School (VA) to create a comprehensive professional development program. She has taught English and history at a number of schools including Castilleja School (CA), San Francisco University High School (CA), and Vail Mountain School (CO). Elizabeth has published and presented extensively on diversity and academic excellence, social justice, and equity issues.

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