A Reflection on EPS Affinity Groups

By Ed Castro, Interim EICL Coordinator

Earlier in October at our EICL meeting, faculty and staff met with student representatives from some of the EPS student-led clubs. Students had a chance to present goals and visions for their clubs, which ranged from raising awareness of the importance of participating in the democratic process, to honoring and celebrating the diversity represented on our campus, and creating safe space for all students. The added bonus of having student clubs presenting at that meeting was for students to hear about other clubs and potentially finds moments of intersectionality between student clubs.

This important discussion correlated with our EICL goal of researching affinity groups at EPS. Our goal this year as a group will be to follow Ms. McKinney’s pre-established work plan to learn and develop competency:

  • about why affinity groups are effective and necessary for EICL work
  • in how to respond to concerns about affinity group development
  • in affinity group facilitation practice

This past month, EICL has been busily preparing for two upcoming presentations this fall, one centering around voting history, and the other around identity, inclusivity, and cultural competency.

I’d like to commend our students from the Girls Empowerment Club for facilitating a conversation about the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in addition to the students from the Poetry Club who challenged us all to read a poem a day by a Latinx poet.  Further, I’d like to give a huge shout out to Mr. Fierce, our history teacher, and the Pride Alliance student club for collaborating with me to develop a music playlist for October’s LGBTQ history month* to be shared with Upper School students via the EPS weekly newsletter coming out next week.

*Note regarding the Pride Playlist:
Included in this playlist are the original artists’ videos and language. As a show of respect for the artistic intentions of the artist representing different aspects of the LGBTQ+ movement and vision, we have included the original videos and uncensored language for some songs.