Shoreline Public Schools is inviting parents, guardians and caregivers to participate in affinity groups. Affinity groups are designated “safe spaces,” where everyone in that group shares a particular identity. This identity can be based on race, language, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, physical/mental ability, socio-economic class, family structure, religion or other identities. These groups can be a place for underrepresented people in a community to come together to feel less isolated and more connected.
Affinity groups help address our ongoing need to stay connected and build community during this time of social distancing and remote learning. Members of affinity groups will have opportunities to connect with other families within your schools and across the district who have shared experiences or particular identities. They will meet remotely (for the time being) to share experiences and discuss hopes for the school year. This is also an opportunity to discuss the challenges people are experiencing, support one another and determine how to share needs with their schools and district.
What will this look like at Shoreline?
Groups will meet once or twice a month to engage with one another around essential questions or topics posed by the group facilitator (a volunteer parent/guardian/caregiver from that group) or other members of the group. This will provide the group with the opportunity to safely share stories, experiences, expectations, interests, and goals.
Who can be part of affinity groups?
Affinity groups are intended to bring people together over a commonality. Only people who identify with that particular group can be a part of it. This allows affinity group members to safely and freely share their experiences without inhibition and having to worry about others not understanding their experience because they are of another identity. We all benefit from interactions with people who share common identities or experiences. These groups make people feel more visible and more included in our community and in doing so, enhance our school district’s commitment to inclusivity.
How to Join an Affinity Group:
We would love to hear from you! If you would like to join an affinity group, learn more about them, or learn how you can become a facilitator, please email email@example.com or call 206-393-4502.
In your email or phone call please let us know:
- Your name
- Which group from the list below you would like to join
- If you would like to volunteer to be a facilitator for that group
- The best way to contact you
Note: If you do not see a group that you identify with from the list below, but are interested in joining an affinity group, please let us know what additional groups you think should be added
- Black & Brown (Black, African American, African…)
- Asian, Asian-American, Asian/Pacific Islander (API)
- Latinx (anyone of Latin American origin or ancestry)
- English Language Learners (there will be multiple ELL – please tell us your preferred language)
- Single-parent/single-caregiver households
- Foster families
- Special Education/Special Needs/504 Plans/IEPs
Interested in joining an affinity group as a facilitator?
Facilitators of affinity groups are not experts of that particular group, but help to guide the conversation by introducing essential questions and/or topics to the group to discuss, monitoring time, and making sure all voices and perspectives are invited to the conversation. They are also responsible for coordinating meeting times for the group and helping the group to decide on group norms for discussion.
We look forward to hearing from you!