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Gaffer
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Ok, so I just got back from the National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity Leadership Conference (crazy cool event, made soo many friends), and at the conference we broke into groups called affinity groups. Based on shared experiences, these groups were some of the most powerful parts of the conference. I went to the GLBTQ group, which was incredible. It was such a safe place...

I guess my point is, do you have an affinity group at your school?

I don't. There are few out people, and it feels so alone.


Posts: 356 | From: Phoenix--name that plurally | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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I think a lot of groups are similar to affinity groups. My university has plenty of things I think are akin to affinity groups. They range from the Sister of Sappho to the Korean Baptist Student Association.

However, while groups like this may make you feel more at ease, imho, they don't promote diversity in the way that diversity should be the unification of people with differing experiences. I think that dividing into groups of "shared" experiences is just that -- divisive. And instead of promoting diversity by encouraging the assemblage of opposing viewpoints, it creates segregation based on like-mindedness. As such, you have diversity in the form of groups of similar folks clustered in groups set side-by-side to each other.

That may make some folks feel more at home, but I feel that it doesn't introduce me to new or challenging ideas.

------------------
Correlation does not equal causation.


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Gaffer
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Yes, the organizers were worried about the complications affinity groups create, but they're very effective for addressing issues that an entire community faces. Powerful, but a little dangerous.
Posts: 356 | From: Phoenix--name that plurally | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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