Affinity Gathering: 11/2/13 Wildwood High School

Photographs and notes from Affinity Gathering with Dr. Steven Jones, Dr. Shelly Tochluk, and Jason David at Wildwood High School, Saturday, November 2, 2013.

SoCal POCIS People of Color Affinity Work Saturday, November 2nd 2013

How can we add value to our communities, specifically for our students?

All Students

Students of Color

Exposure to outside communities

Leading affinity groups; mentoring

Breaks stereotypes


Shows students that other people are valuable; challenges (false) sense of superiority

Make sure they are proud of who they are

Don’t pity us; we are not handicapped

Religious diversity

Multi-racial families

In-group diversity; identity issues

Developmentally appropriate conversations at grade level

Provide students with the language they need to express their thoughts and feelings

Relationship building

Reach out; one-on-one teachable moments

Multiculturalism should be infused , organic

Sharing resources (I.e. articles, TED talks, etc)

More diversity

Advocate; provide safe space

“White” is a culture also (as seen by people of color); differentiate between European heritage vs. “whiteness”

“Putting your foot down”





Shared experiences

“Inspire to represent” / individualized communication
Validate kids experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc
Esteeming our students
Explaining the need to “get together” for unfiltered communication and support
Sense of belonging



How do we (faculty & staff of color) add value to Faculty & Staff of Color in our communities?

  • Buddy system

-to check in

-strength in finding humor in common experiences

  • Role models + mentors (as P.O.C, and also as an academic)
  • Giving voice/empowering others
  • Using experience to voice + leverage for others
  • Bring diversity of experience due to unique experiences within a group (due to being more than one representative of a group)
  • More P.O.C. at a school helps dispel stereotypes + empower students
  • Give each other courage to dispel + interrupt stereotypes
  • Creating safe spaces (to let down your guard, code switch)
  • Intellectual discourse/resource/network grounded in common experience
  • Bounce ideas/brainstorm strategies with other adults regarding student experience
  • Providing affinity group space for personal identity development
  • Bringing a wider view of the possibilities for P.O.C. not limited by the dominant culture view
  • Broadening of roles for P.O.C. within schools (so not all P.O.C are in one department or type of position)
  • Helps to identify biases through conversation
  • Helping each other better understand our students
  • Forces them (dominant culture) to see us when we are in the classroom + multiple roles
  • Empathy + sense of purpose
  • Recommendation: YouTube – TED Talk: “The Danger of a Single Story”
  • Opportunities for guidance + “sense of realness” for helpful advice to each other
  • Bring perspective between different ethnic groups to each other
  • Opportunity to show appreciation for each other
  • Respecting other P.O.C. personal journeys (not everyone is at the same point in their identity development and in their desire to be involved in diversity work)à we need more stories
  • Having veteran P.O.C. shows that it is ok to do “heavy lifting” around diversity work à the more P.O.C. involved the lighter load when lifting is shared
  • Helps to have a sounding board
  • Be present, ready to help