Public Schools of Brookline has a page online titled “Educational Equity in Brookline” that promotes affinity groups and encourages staff to participate in them. The district explains on this page: “This January, we are excited to announce the launch of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and Anti-racist white affinity spaces dedicated to bonding, healing, and finding joy within our workplace.” Affinity groups are groups of people segregated by their characteristics, such as race and sexual orientation. The district appears to be referencing January 2023 as the launch period of the affinity groups.
The district has several flyers on the page for these affinity groups. One flyer states “Calling All LGBTQ+ Staff” to “join us in queer affinity!” The flyer states that a goal of the affinity group is to “advocate for the change we wish to see in PSB.”
Another affinity group flyer states: “Calling in … white PSB staff! Developing Our Anti-Racist Practice.” The flyer tells white staff to join the affinity group if they have ever said any of the following:
- I feel guilty or sad about my whiteness.
- I want to examine my own racial habits and awareness.
- I wish we had more than just PD days to tackle racial equity work.
- How can I fulfill SEED extra hours?
- I want to work on equity, but my collab time is content focused.
- I want to do SEED, but it’s too much time.
Another flyer is labeled “BIPOC Educator Affinity Circles.” This flyer states: “Experience what it looks, sounds, and feels like to engage in racial affinity conversations here in PSB.” Examples of affinity groups listed on this flyer include “AAPI Circle,” “Black + African American Circle,” “Latinx Circle,” and “Multiracial Circle.”
One flyer on the page states “Calling All AAPI Staff at PSB.” The flyer then states: “Open to all AAPI identifying PSB Educators and staff.” The term “AAPI” stands for “Asian American and Pacific Islanders.”