UNDERSTANDING AFFINITY Benefits and Challenges for an Independent School Community batiste@nais.org

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Transcript of UNDERSTANDING AFFINITY Benefits and Challenges for an Independent School Community batiste@nais.org

  • Slide 1
  • UNDERSTANDING AFFINITY Benefits and Challenges for an Independent School Community batiste@nais.org
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Session Goals To provide suggestions for building your knowledge of and commitment to affinity group work in independent schools. To share the concept, opportunities, and challenges of affinity group initiatives. To offer strategic and tactical questions and next steps in developing affinity group goals and initiatives. Feel free to think aloud!
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Core Identifiers Ability Age Ethnicity Gender Race Religion Sexual Orientation Socio-economic Status (Class) Body Image (Lookism) Educational Background Family of Origin, Family Make Up Geographic/Regional Background Language Learning Style Beliefs (political, social, religious) Globalism/Internationalism ?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 The term affinity group is used as a bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. race, gender, profession, or special interests. Any significant historical movement or everyday social interaction could probably be traced to the actions of people who share a common experience and passion.
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Affinity groups allow for: building community identifying issues sharing successes promoting ideas for action preparing for deep and honest cross-cultural dialogue with other affinity groups providing opportunities for affirmation and celebration the why defines the what A large number of successful diversity initiatives in independent schools across the country originated out of conversations in these groups.
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Affinity Groups The NAIS Perspective
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Affinity Group Work at PoCC/SDLC NAIS has long supported the development and operation of racial/ethnic/cultural affinity groups. The overarching vision for NAIS affinity group work is to provide a safe space for all participants to identify salient issues and common concerns through dialogue, using our individual voices to bring about affirmation, fellowship, connection (networking), and empowerment: to come together for sharing and listening and offering support in the service of greater understanding. The overarching vision of affinity group work includes: Discussing issues related to racial/ethnic/cultural identity development. Providing a safe environment where people who share a racial/ethnic/cultural identity can come together for building community, fellowship, and empowerment. Facilitating opportunities for affirming, nurturing, and celebrating. Empowering participants who share a racial/ethnic/cultural identity.
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Affinity Group Challenges
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 False Parallels (The same thing happened to me) in resistance to initiatives for affinity groups Inverting the Injustice (By focusing on affinity groups YOU have offended ME) in reacting to plans for affinity groups Outright Dismissal (Race has nothing to do with it) of the need for affinity group initiatives Minimization (It really isnt a program for them/us here) in response to affinity group proposals Righteousness (Were a good school so we cant be racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-Semitic/etc.) as a defensive response to the notion of affinity group work Colorblindness (People are people We dont see color/gender/religious/ability/sexual orientation..) in a well meaning but misguided and dismissive response to proposing affinity group work Jealousy (Why do they get a special group, to be treated to something I/we cant have Remnant of affirmative actions preferential treatment criticism)
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 The Mission Statement of Riverdale Country School - I The mission of Riverdale Country School is to offer students the foundations of a liberal education that will guide them to rewarding, purposeful lives. In its second century, Riverdales unique character is still shaped by the commitment of its founder, Frank S. Hackett, to high academic standards, scholarly, intimate teaching, abundant play in the open, and a care for the best influences. It is our duty to help our students expand their competence and resourcefulness and to enable them to think critically. Riverdale students are not merely passive recipients of knowledge; teachers support students in the challenging work of actively constructing their own understanding and skills in a balance of intellectual, artistic, athletic, and community activities. The ideal Riverdale experience is a friendly, lively meeting of disciplined minds working, creating, and performing together in the classroom and in the larger arena made possible by New York City and our country campuses.
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 The Mission Statement of Riverdale Country School - II The knowledge, culture, experiences, interests, abilities, and points of view that each member of the Riverdale community brings to the school enrich the lives and deepen the understanding of those with whom they interact. We value the quality of the relationships we forge. Parents feel a strong partnership with the school and students form lasting bonds with their teachers, mentors, and peers. For these reasons, we seek diverse experiences and viewpoints in our students and their families, our faculty, and our curriculum. In the patterns of our daily life on campus, we seek to create a model of the ways in which people should treat and respect one another.
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 A Schools Mission Statement and Reconstructing Questions
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What are we doing now that we should do more of to sustain our mission statement through affinity group goals and initiatives? What are we doing now that we should do less of to sustain our mission statement through affinity group goals and initiatives? What arent we doing that we should be doing to sustain our mission statement through affinity group goals and initiatives? What are we doing that we need to stop doing to sustain our mission statement through affinity group goals and initiatives?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 My Familys Experience
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What was the motivation in having your child apply to the school? What were the risks, if any, to your family (based on your cultural identifier)?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 As a/an (cultural identifier) family in the community, what do you want the school community to affirm about your child?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 As a/an (cultural identifier) family in the community, what do you want your child to affirm and understand about the other cultural groups of the school community?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 As a/an (cultural identifier) in the community, what do you want to affirm and understand about the families of other cultural groups in the school community?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 As a/an (cultural identifier) in the community, what do you want the families of other cultural groups to affirm and understand about you?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What or who was most helpful to you and your daughter/son in adjusting to the first year at the school?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 When was it that you really felt part of the school community as opposed to just being a parent of a student who attends the school?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What do you notice about yourself as a person of color, a person of other underrepresented groups, or as a person from the majority culture at the school?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What do you notice about adults in the school community who share your primary cultural identification?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What do you notice about other adults in the community who do not share your primary cultural identification?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 What would you like to see the school do to support (cultural identifier) students and families in/for academic achievement, athletic achievement, social development, extra- curricular activities, and support for families?
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  • Copyright National Association of Independent Schools 2006 Genes Recommendations for Follow Up Questions
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