Black Affinity Network
Affinity networks are spaces that offer an opportunity to gather and build community around shared identities and similar experiences. Inter-school affinity networks, like the CIS Ontario Black Affinity Network, can offer a sense of belonging in ways that a school environment may not able to, either because there is a lack of representation in staff and student populations, or because identifies may not be affirmed through policy, procedures or curriculum.
Although each of us may lay claim to multiple identities, affinity group networks call participants into community based on their shared identity. You know you are in the right affinity group if you can say unequivocally, “I am ________” and speak to that group’s collective identity and experience from the “I” and “we” perspective. This is not a space to learn about the identity of others. It is a space for those who identify as a part of a specific community, for example, a community defined by membership to a particular racial, ethnic, or sexual orientation.
The CIS Ontario Black Affinity Network provides an opportunity to learn together, reflect on ways to be supportive of one another, and to be together as a community to begin dialogue that can lead to actionable change.
In addition to emailed invitations to join meetings, members of the Black Affinity Network are also invited to access the Black Affinity Network dashboard on the CIS Ontario member portal. This online resource includes discussion boards, links and announcements about upcoming meetings and events.