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An email sent out to Natick employees from Anna Nolin:
As part of our actions to continue to make the Natick Public Schools a workplace where people of all types can feel valued, cherished and that they can be their true selves , we will be offering Affinity groups for staff of color and LGBTQ+ staff.
What is an affinity group?
Affinity groups are identity-based* groups, organized to advance equity and increase belonging in our work place.
These groups will be spaces for employees to share their individual and unique experiences of identity, race and culture. These groups will become an additional space for employees to grow and learn from and with each other.
*Identity is complex and intersectional. Each identity is a layer that shapes how we understand the world, and each other — and how the world understands us. One person’s layers are not better or worse than anyone else’s, but the differences are our diversity.
Intersectionality: The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.
Why are these groups important?
We acknowledge that there is a burden of calling for equity, that has historically been borne by those most marginalized in our system. This burden requires that those most impacted are often those at the front of organizing solutions and change. It also requires that this work often happens, after hours, in co-opted spaces and fellowship.
It is hard to see the system does not work, when it works for you.
If you would be interested in facilitating these groups or working with a team to do so, please let me know. There is a budget to support the groups and the best affinity group work is emergent from staff voice and choice.
Anna P. Nolin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools