Supporting Healthy Identity Development: The Why and How of Racial Affinity Groups
SESSION 1: January 28, 2021 | 12:00pm - 3:00pm
SESSION 2: February 11, 2021 | 12:00pm - 3:00pm
SESSION 3: March 17, 2021 | 12:00pm - 3:00pm
ABOUT THIS ONLINE WORKSHOP
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 three-part online series will provide practical tools, resources, strategies, and mutual support 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.
SESSION 1: FOUNDATIONS OF RACIAL AFFINITY GROUPS
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.
SESSION 2: STRATEGIES AND TOOLS FOR EFFECTIVE RACIAL AFFINITY GROUP DEVELOPMENT & FACILITATION
For the second session, we will focus on curriculum topics including scope and sequence and sample curricula. We will continue to look at model structures and frameworks for affinity groups, and share resources and tools available to educators and school leaders. Some of this will be done via virtual breakout rooms in racial affinity groups (POC/White anti-racist).
SESSION 3: COMMUNICATION, RESISTANCE, & COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING
In our final session together, we will explore and share strategies around effective communication and consensus-building, especially when encountering resistance. We will dive into the underlying and often unspoken causes of resistance to affinity groups and DE&I work, and identify strategies to strategically engage resistors. Time will also be devoted to topic- and interest-specific breakout spaces, allowing participants the opportunity to cohort with others around topics they choose.
ABOUT THE FACILITATORS
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 a director for East Ed, a non-profit 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. In this position, Elizabeth was responsible for the stewardship and integration of curriculum from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, as well as for the oversight and coordination of professional development and evaluation for all faculty. She also served as a co-leader of the School’s accreditation team. 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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