Affinity Groups - What & Why
The term affinity group refers to the bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. gender, race, culture, profession, college, or special interests. The goals of our affinity groups are to foster kinship; to provide students and adults a place to celebrate their uniqueness, gifts and important role in our school community; and to affirm, protect and nurture the identities of the group.
Lower School Affinity Groups
- Young Children of Color (YCC) is an affinity group and mentoring program for students of color in grades K-5. The goals of our affinity groups are to foster kinship, provide students of color a place to celebrate their uniqueness, gifts and important role in our school community, and to affirm, protect and nurture the racial and cultural identities of the group. In the Lower School all students of color are invited to participate in the program and they decide with their parents or guardians whether to participate.
- Allies are students who create awareness of the differential treatment of people from different backgrounds while learning to stand up for the rights and dignity of all individuals.
- Tribes are 3rd-5th grade gender-based groups of students who learn to build community, internalize and reinforce the Honor Code, and focus on gender-specific issues.
- Banana Splits: Facilitated by our school counselor this affinity group is for students in 1st-4th grades who have separated or divorced parents or who live in a blended family (a family consisting of a parent(s)/grandparent(s) and their children from this and all previous relationships). Students meet with their peers in a safe environment to talk about their experiences and learn skills and guidance in navigating these family relationships.
Middle School Affinity Groups
- Young Men of Color (YMC) is an affinity group for middle school students who self identify as boys of color at Trinity Episcopal School. YMC is designed to provide cultural awareness and affirmation, educational preparation for high school, motivation, and social refinement, while enhancing and enriching the lives of young men of color in a safe space at TES. During the year the group meets weekly to discuss a variety of topics, including: cultural sensitivity, academic success, and socio-political issues. Ultimately, we hope to motivate these young men to make decisions about their short and long term goals and values, and act in ways that reflect the integrity and honor of Trinity Episcopal School.
- Young Women of Color (YWC) is an affinity group for middle school students who self identify as girls of color to discuss what makes them unique in a safe space at Trinity Episcopal School. Often the issues discussed come from current events and explore challenges faced by racial and/or gender identity. Our goals are to help our young ladies develop positive self-esteem and the confidence to advocate for themselves and their peers. A member of YWC strives to make positive changes in the world through her understanding of social issues and action. Meetings and outings occur regularly throughout the year. In an effort to promote leadership, we also encourage our young ladies to take charge in the organization of community events throughout the year.
- Young Men for Social Justice (YMSJ) and Young Women for Social Justice (YWSJ) are affinity groups at Trinity Episcopal School (TES) for students who self identify as white. Following the words of Gandhi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," these groups are intended to provide primarily white students a setting to discuss the unearned privilege that is associated with historical and current practices that promote injustice and inequality. The groups work to identify the way in which privilege impacts the daily lives of students at TES, the community of Charlotte, and the world at large. These groups explore ways to impact these societal patterns of injustice as well as identify actions that they can take as allies.
- Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is an affinity group that provides an opportunity for middle school students to gather to discuss issues and plan activities related to diversity, inclusive of any number of topics dealing with human rights. There is a focus on topics inclusive of gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning and transgender issues. The goal of the GSA is to create a safer environment for all students and create an open dialogue around the idea of human rights and what that looks like for everyone at Trinity and beyond.
- Interfaith Group is an affinity group that provides a space for students who are not of the majority faith in our community to converse and find support. The group identifies ways that students can live and grow in our Episcopal community while nurturing and celebrating their own beliefs. The group respects and advocates for students’ religious and non-religious identities, while encouraging students to explore their connection to the greater Trinity community.
- Mosaic Groups are the umbrella groups for Trinity’s race affinity groups. The Young Men of Color and the Young Women of Color meet together at times and the Young Women for Social Justice and Young Men for Social Justice meet together at times. All these affinity groups meet regularly to share their experiences in a safe space with the goal of building racial literacy and allyship while exploring and developing their different racial identities.