About Us
Equity and Inclusion

Affinity Groups

Affinity groups provide students from different classrooms with the opportunity and safe-space to connect through a shared affinity and foster relationships in a space where they make up the majority. We help all students understand the definition of affinity and explain that having affinity groups is not an act of intentional exclusion, but rather, an important opportunity for identity exploration and development around a shared experience.

  • Rainbow Kids– for children of LGBTQ+ families in Grades I-VIII 
  • Gender-Expansive Kids– for all gender-expansive students (transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, or a gender identity other than cisgender) from Beginners to grade VIII
  • Children of Color Lunch– for students of color (Asian, AAPI, African, Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Middle Eastern American, Native American, biracial and multiracial heritage)
  • School Sisters– for black girls in Grades I-VIII 
  • School Brothers–for black boys in Grades I-VIII 
  • Gender Sexuality Alliance– for all Middle School students interested in advancing inclusivity in Shady Hill School’s LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual/Aromantic/Agender) community. This is an alliance group, meaning people of all identities are welcome to attend. The GSA is student-led and focuses on creating more equity for LGBTQIA+ members of our community.
  • Jewish Students– for students who identify as Jewish in Grades I-VIII
  • South West Asian & North African (SWANA) Students– for students who identify within communities of the South West Asian and North African region (including but not limited to: Kurds, Nubians, Sudanese, Armenians, Circassians, Arabs, Iranians, Druze, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turks, Yazidis, Azeris, Turkmen, Afghans, Copts, and Imazighen) in Grades I-VIII


Why are affinity groups important?
Research has shown that children notice and are aware of physical differences (i.e. skin color, hair texture, facial features) at a very early age. Affinity groups support personal identity development and help minimize the impact of isolation by allowing students to share experiences and strategies that lead to greater inclusion in the broader community. To hear Dr. Beverly Tatum explain the value of affinity groups for children, click here

What are the best practices for talking to my child about identity and affinity groups?
Below is a selection of resources to help parents and caregivers become more comfortable talking about race and other aspects of identity with children: 
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