Affinity Groups for Parents and Families

Affinity groups at OES are designed to support families whose identities have been underrepresented or marginalized and increase families’ sense of belonging in the community by providing spaces for renewal, dialogue, reflection, and action. 

These groups offer caregivers the opportunity to discuss their individual experiences among a peer group that shares a common identity. Parents and guardians develop self-awareness and cultural knowledge, problem solve social interactions, and build communities of support. Thr groups are facilitated by two to three parent facilitators, and supported by the Director for Equity & Inclusion. Click here to learn more about affinity and allyship groups for students.

Rationale and History

In an effort to support all students, OES recently made the intentional decision to support the formation of a Parents/Guardians of Students of Color Affinity Group. We hope to add more affinity groups as our capacity grows.

Affinity Groups and OES Values

Affinity groups support the community’s development of cultural competence and acknowledge the human dignity of all. As well as living into the stated values of the school:

  • Awareness: Human differences matter. Recognizing and engaging the range of human thought, experience, and identity are essential to this school community.
  • Dialogue: The extent to which the school commits to ongoing dialogue and effort towards inclusion will determine our ability to wholly fulfill the school's Mission and realize its Vision.
  • Courage: OES recognizes that conversations about inclusive community require courage. Mistakes and times of discomfort are a part of the learning process.
  • Commitment: The OES Board of Trustees recognizes its leadership role in creating an engaged community that:
    • Embraces and celebrates a diversity of people, voices, and perspectives.
    • Develops intercultural communication skills for local and global understanding and citizenship.
    • Understands historical privilege and power inequities, and challenges norms and systems that perpetuate exclusion.
    • Regularly evaluates and strengthens the school's practices of equity and inclusion.

Affinity Groups and the OES Essential Competencies

These groups are an additional avenue for adults and their students  to work towards mastery of these OES Essential Competencies:

To live our mission and identity fully, we engage students and adults in a continuous process of exploration, connection, creation, commitment, and reflection. We strive to develop for all members of our community the opportunities and ability to:

  • Cultivate curiosity and creativity
  • Construct a strong foundation of knowledge and skills
  • Design and apply solutions
  • Listen actively and recognize perspectives beyond one’s own
  • Collaborate to broaden and deepen understanding
  • Express ideas in multiple ways
  • Build resilience and respond constructively to challenges
  • Take responsibility for one’s actions
  • Value diversity and uphold the dignity of all people
  • Act with courage and compassion for self and others

Affinity Groups: FAQs