The Highline Affinity Group Committee is continuing to develop the identity-based affinity group program. We acknowledge our staff of color disproportionately carry the burden of equity work, and affinity groups provide a space for staff to connect and talk through shared practices and experiences.
Affinity groups are rooted in our commitment to:
- Acknowledge that the education system has historically marginalized whole communities of learners and families; and
- Believe that all students, staff, parents, and community members have a vested interest in and should work together to correct system inequities; and
- Recognize that eliminating racism, racial inequities, and institutional bias will increase achievement and graduation rates for all students; and
- Commit to disrupt institutional biases and end inequitable practices.
Affinity groups were first piloted in November 2019. The charge was to co-define how we put our Equity Policy (0010) into action, so that all students have an equal chance at success. The groups focused on identifying practices that disrupt institutional biases and end inequitable practices in Highline.
Due to the COVID health crisis, the initial pilot was interrupted. However, the committee supporting this work has continued to meet virtually and is set to relaunch groups in the fall. The groups will either be face to face or virtual, depending on the status of King County’s reopening schedule.
Starting in August, invitations will be sent to encourage staff to join an affinity group, either as a host or participant. There will be training for hosts in September and October, and groups will begin meeting in November.
If you are interested but have questions, please reach out to Courtney Akinniyi at 206.631.3008.