Are affinity spaces divisive?
We asked a some educators who have participated in various racial affinity spaces to share their experiences. We asked if they think affinity spaces are divisive, and what they've valued about participating in affinity spaces. This is the first in a few videos we will be posting in the coming weeks with their reflections. Thank you Celeste Kirsh for sharing your experiences.
We asked: "Are affinity spaces divisive?" Educator Celeste Kirsh shared her thoughts.
Hello. My name is Celeste Kirsh. I am a middle school educator and am also the host of the podcast Teaching Tomorrow.
Some people wonder if these kids of groups further the divides. I think what actually what furthers the divides between different racial groups is ignorance. And so these groups actually peel that back and it allows people to look at themselves in a more honest and productive way. So that they're able to make changes, be a little bit more critical of the things that they've learned in their past; like me, how I was taught that being colourblind is the most important thing. And it also allows people to take responsibility for themselves.
And I think that as white people we have a lot of things that we have to look at.
If you're somebody who feels uncomfortable by the idea of a white affinity or accountability group it's actually so important. And if this feels very...if it's something that brings up nervousness or discomfort I think that's a really good sign that there's things there that can be unpacked. And that there's conversations that we may benefit from having. These kids of spaces are really needed in education and we need to have more spaces like this across our schools.