Indianapolis Public Schools ‘affinity groups’ separate staff by race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender


In August 2021, Indianapolis Public Schools Office of Racial Equity sent out an interest survey to district employees with information about its staff “affinity groups.”

The group options were: “Ability Diverse,” “Black/African American,” “LatinX,” “Asian/Pacific Islander,” “Native American/Indigenous,” “Jewish,” “Muslim,” LGBTQIA+,” “Women’s Network,” “Multi-Racial,” “Multi-Lingual” and “Confronting White Privilege.”

“Confronting White Privilege” was described as: “For IPS staff members who identify as white. This group launched during the 19-20 school year and the name was decided by the group itself.”

Parents Defending Education was contacted by a teacher at Arlington Middle School, located in Indianapolis Public Schools, and the teacher forwarded us the documents. We reached out to Tony Kinnett, the then-district science coordinator in the school district and founder of Chalkboard Review, and he confirmed their legitimacy.

The message asked the question, “What are affinity groups?” It answered: “Affinity groups are strategic, self-organized Office of Racial Equity sponsored groups focused on advancing a collective of IPS staff members who have assembled to build safe communities of solidarity and support, educate allies on needs and challenges and attract and retain talent. These groups will save as a resource for IPS employees to build community across shared identity, learn, and grow professionally while making a positive impact throughout the communities we serve.”