Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups are spaces for students, who are members of a community based on specific identity traits, to not only connect over shared experiences and cultivate a sense of self and belonging, but also to grow in their antiracism practice and engage in advocacy to co-create an inclusive and equitable school community.

Learning and Leading in Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups are grounded within a DEIJ Framework and are aligned with Castilleja’s Learning and Leading Competencies. Under this model, affinity groups have more opportunities to collaborate with one another and practice leadership. For example, students organized and led an all-school panel event, “Beyond Allyship: Towards True Solidarity,” to introduce the vision and direction for affinity groups and spark a discussion around what solidarity looks like in Castilleja’s community. Students have the opportunity to propose new Affinity Groups as they see a need arise. All of the groups are student-proposed and student-led.

DEIJ Framework

  1. Purposefully reflect on their identities & experiences to co-create a safe space where they feel affirmed.
  2. Collaborate with others to educate themselves and the community about intersectional equity issues.
  3. Problem strategize as student leaders to advocate for systemic change and co-create an antiracist, inclusive, and equitable Castilleja for current and future students. 

Building Safe and Brave Spaces
In addition to being safe, supportive spaces for identity development and affirmation, Affinity Groups at Castilleja are brave spaces that give students agency and leadership opportunities to educate themselves and others about their community and bring to life Castilleja’s Diversity & Inclusion statement.

Community Education and Storytelling
Affinity Group leaders emphasize community education and storytelling at their cultural events and celebrations. In practice, that may look like bringing renowned spoken word poet Noel Quinones to give a performance and workshop exploring the complexities of Latinidad or engaging the community in important questions around identity through interactive boards and activities. 

List of 2023–2024 Affinity Groups