Come visit Interrupting Privilege at the Northwest African American Museum! Click here to learn more about the exhibit

Diversity Committees and Affinity Groups: Who Benefits from These Spaces

Listen as students, parents, and teachers of color describe their experiences with affinity groups in their schools and where/how conversations about race occur (or don’t). The students comment on how their schools form affinity groups for Asian & Pacific Islander, African American, and Latino students, which often leads to their white peers also requesting an affinity group or sparking conversations as to why white students don’t have an affinity group. The parents reflect the disparities within the school population in terms of teaching staff and unreliable diversity committees where the meeting times are inconvenient, and diversity is an afterthought. These experiences and recollections beg the question: who actually benefits from diversity committees or affinity groups? Are they actually effectively serving the school community as they exist now?

When it comes to being white… they just don’t think about these kinds of things… I don’t know what it’s like to be white. White people don’t know what it’s like to be Mexican so it’s just by nature of habit, we don’t know what we don’t know. So we don’t know that we’re failing to address or teach or incorporate these kinds of things.