The Affinity Accelerator
Affinity spaces can be an incredible place for learning and growing together in the racial equity journey.
Yet they often don’t feel purposeful in the ways we want them to. They can unintentionally become spaces for unexamined white guilt, for lumping all “People of Color” into one group despite their different lived experiences and barriers in the workplace, for bringing important emotion to the surface but with no purposeful direction.
So well-meaning organizations often fall into one of two traps: either creating affinity spaces that can end up directionless and unhelpful — or avoiding them all together and not holding much-needed space for people with shared experience to come together in meaningful ways.
The Affinity Accelerator is designed to help your organization hold this critical space with scaffolded support to differentiate it and make it meaningful to all participants and support the anti-racist goals of the organization.
Conducting a Needs Assessment
Based on either the results of our Equity Audit, or a tailored Affinity Space Needs Assessment if your organization did not participate in the full Equity Audit, our team will make recommendations for which affinity spaces your team should start with based on your team makeup and organizational context.
Selecting Leadership & Setting Purpose
We believe that the most successful affinity spaces are led by the people doing the work, so we will work with your organization to help identify internal leaders who we will support in ultimately owning the affinity spaces for the organization long-term. We will also work with these leaders to help set the purpose and aligned anti-racist goals for each group, tailored to the unique context of each group. Depending on where your organization is, you may want more of a decision-making space, more of a learning space, or something in between. Our framework will help you identify your needs and set your purpose accordingly.
Designing the Space
This is where the good intentions of affinity spaces usually fall flat. The intentions are there, but the plan and support isn’t, causing these groups to merely surface issues instead of driving meaningful reflection and change. During the six week of the accelerator, we design and co-facilitate sessions with your affinity space leaders, both setting the group on a purposeful path and building the capacity of the leaders themselves. For example:
- The White Affinity Space Accelerator might tackle examining and unpacking the way white people benefit from white supremacy culture and are responsible for dismantling it, shifting to personal reflection and self-work as opposed to externalizing and looking first to structural change, and providing safe space for reflection and grappling while holding the group accountable to action and starting the journey of individual change.
- The Black Affinity Space Accelerator might dig into what does it look to begin the healing process of the effects of racism on everyday life, the impact white dominant culture has had on work expectations, and how to reach beyond the present oppressive state and strive for liberation.
- The Asian American and Pacific Islander Affinity Space Accelerator might examine surfacing, understanding the historical legacy and its ramifications, and deconstructing the “model minority” myth; creating safe space to name and demand change around implicit and explicit forms of bias and racism in the workplace.
Capacity-Building & Support
Following the 6-Week Accelerator, we don’t just walk away from your team and the important journey you’ve started. We continue to work with the Affinity Space Leaders, supporting them in their design and facilitation, being thought partners to the tough issues that will inevitably come up as these groups engage in meaningful reflection and work, and help them build capacity as anti-racist leaders and facilitators.
Meet Your Facilitators:
Dynasti is an award-winning Talent and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader, committed to redesigning workplaces with a centered racial-equity lens. Dynasti specializes in racial equity coaching for organizations and their leadership teams, with a deep commitment to helping organizations across all sectors move towards tangible action and accountability in their equity work.
Michele is a leader in Executive Training and Leadership Development, committed to developing people into high-performing, equity-focused leaders. Michele specializes in executive leadership coaching and organizational training, helping leaders build strong leadership teams, develop the confidence of their boards and investors, and grow and scale their impact.
Looking to invest for you and your team? Reach out to schedule time to discuss with our team.