Affinity Spaces

Affinity Groups

An affinity group is a community of peers that offers support, guidance, resources, and mentorship to its members, who identify as like-minded with the group. Affinity groups are particularly valuable as they provide a sense of belonging, community, and collective empowerment to members of historically, systemically, and perpetually marginalized groups, whose experiences and voices are often not centered. An affinity space serves as a place to convene, share challenges, validate experiences, collaboratively identify needs, and celebrate successes. It can also be a space for sharing food, cultural celebrations, or ceremonies. Affinity groups bring together people who share relatable feelings and experiences, providing a safe, non-judgmental, and supportive space where their true feelings, expressions, thoughts, and opinions can be shared and recognized.

For some, these groups are the only places where they feel truly understood and seen for who they are. By definition, members of marginalized communities have fewer colleagues who share similar backgrounds to turn to. However, an affinity space allows colleagues to connect across geographical barriers, levels of seniority, and other differentiating factors.

Affinity groups can take on various forms, including physical spaces (such as an office or building) and/or online spaces (like a message board, website, hashtag, etc.). They can exist at different scales, ranging from local to international. They can be grassroots or institutionally organized.

Learn more about how affinity groups can support creating an inclusive campus.

Examples of affinity groups:

Groups for Faculty, Staff and Students on Campus:

National Affinity Groups:

Faculty and Staff Groups

Student Groups

-While primarily student groups, some of these also have faculty and staff presence.

Please note that while we endorse the idea of affinity groups and acknowledge their potential to cultivate belonging, we are not specifically endorsing any particular group. Rather, we are sharing available resources on campus. You can find more groups here.