• The Center
Finding Your Voice with Affinity Groups

Lincoln School’s statement of diversity and inclusion emphasizes our commitment to the Quaker values of equity, justice, peace, and community. To foster such an inclusive, informed, and just community, Lincoln believes that creating time and space for identity development through discourse is essential. At Lincoln, we celebrate the multiple worlds that students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae live in and help them to navigate their complexity.

Lincoln’s Affinity Group Program creates opportunities for students to engage in dialogue on issues pertaining to race, gender and sexuality, religion, and family structure.

Affinity Groups are, “designed specifically to encourage interaction among members of the same racial, ethnic, religious, or family background. Although each of us may lay claim to multiple identities, affinity group sessions call participants into community based on their individual identity. You know you are in the right affinity group if you can say unequivocally, “I am __________” and speak to that group’s collective racial or ethnic identity and experience from the “I” and “we” perspective (NAIS).

Lincoln Affinity Groups are open to students who can speak from the “I “perspective, and who can reflect and discuss the unique experiences of this shared identity. As identity is both a fixed and fluid process, students are allowed to explore different affinity groups, but are not required to attend any affinity group space.  For example, if a student identifies as multiracial but wants to explore the Black and LatinX affinity groups because they each speak to different parts of their identity they are encouraged to do so but are not required or expected to.

Currently, the Affinity Groups on campus are:

  • Lower School Students of Color and their Parents
  • Latinx
  • Muslim
  • Jewish
  • Unpacking Whiteness
  • Asian, Pacific Island, Desi American (APIDA)
  • Black/African American
  • Multiracial
  • LGBTQ+
  • Children of Divorce
  • Children of Single Parent
  • First Generation

Insights

In a recent article published in the National Association of Independent School’s Magazine, entitled, “How Racial Affinity Groups Saved My Life”, author Trina Moore-Southall noted that affinity groups during her high school life were,

“a place of affirmation and empowerment that we all so desperately needed. We acknowledged shared experiences in ways that were productive, valuable, and meaningful. It was a brave space that preserved our dignity as a people.”

The Affinity Group Program honors this statement and seeks to directly address personal and systemic levels of oppression in our community by dismantling the white supremacist, patriarchal culture at play.