Diversity committee introduces affinity groups for parents

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Catlin Gabel’s diversity committee is pleased to launch cross-divisional parent affinity groups in January. We start modestly this year with three affinity groups for adoptive families, families of color, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people and their families. In addition to parents, participants may include school leaders, diversity committee members, and interested faculty and staff members.

Your children’s emotional safety and your comfort in our community are vitally important to us. Catlin Gabel is a place where every student should thrive and every family should feel connected. We seek your input and involvement to ensure that those core values are realized.

Affinity groups can play a variety of roles in a school like Catlin Gabel, and they have been effective on our campus in the past. At the outset, the meetings will be social events for parents to meet and talk about common interests or concerns. Later, each affinity group will schedule monthly or bi-monthly meetings that will include specific agenda items determined by the group or suggested by the school. Ultimately, we will ask the affinity groups to identify what Catlin Gabel might do differently or better. Your thoughts, especially specific recommendations, are an important source of feedback that will help inform how we can improve inclusivity and further develop our cultural competency as a community.

In the spring we will form a diversity committee that includes parents from each of the affinity groups as well as other interested community members. Paul Andrichuk, chair of the faculty-staff diversity committee, will facilitate this parent diversity committee, which will regularly update the administrative leadership and the PFA.

We seek affiliated parents to attend the affinity group meetings. Follow-up meetings will be scheduled by the people attending the initial meetings.

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Families Affinity Group

Thursday, January 6, at 7 p.m.
Beginning School Well
Facilitators: Sue Phillips, US librarian, and Mary Foulk, annual giving officer

Families of Color Affinity Group

Tuesday, January 11, at 7 p.m.
Beginning School Well
Facilitator: Zalika Gardner, 2nd grade teacher and alumna

Adoptive Families Affinity Group

Thursday, January 13, at 7 p.m.
Beginning School Well
Facilitators: Astrid Dabbeni, executive director of AdoptionMosaic, and Nance Leonhardt, US art teacher

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Paul Andrichuk. Questions about the specific affinity groups can be directed to individual facilitators.