The Kirkwood School District has a series of presentations and discussions posted online labeled as the “Kirkwood Educational Equity Speaker Series.” On March 9, 2022, the district’s “Educational Equity Task Force” had a presentation on why the district has affinity groups for students. A slide in the presentation states regarding affinity groups: “The environments we create – how they look, sound, and feel, must represent and respect diverse cultures and identities if we want students and their families to feel connected.” [Time Stamp: 2:20]
The presentation discusses different types of affinity groups. Examples include “gender,” “race,” “sexual orientation,” “beliefs,” and “ethnicity.” [Time Stamp: 6:15] Different affinity groups are discussed in the video, such as a “Hispanic Honor Society” and “Black Achievement and Cultural Club” which recently merged with the Black Student Union. The people in the discussion also discussed facing resistance to affinity groups. The video ends with students explaining why they think affinity groups are important for them. Race is specifically mentioned as an example.
Within the district, an article is posted on North Glendale Elementary School’s website mentioning the “Black Achievement Cultural Club” affinity group. Another article for Tillman Elementary School mentioned affinity groups for the fourth and fifth grades. This article also mentions what appears to be an affinity group for teachers called “Kirkwood Teachers of Color.”