Dialogue for Affinity Groups
Publication date – 2006
Developed by – Study Circles Resource Center (now known as Everyday Democracy)
Aims, objectives, and intended audience
This guide is an optional supplement to the community-wide dialogues of Everyday Democracy’s Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation. By inviting affinity groups to meet both before and after the six session community-wide dialogue, affinity groups are able to build mutual support and address intragroup concerns. These three optional sessions are designed to help participants practice talking about racism, think about community change, and identify action steps. While all of these sessions are aimed at affinity groups, in some cases the materials are specific to certain groups, notably African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, recent immigrants, whites, and, broadly, people of color.
Broad structure and key educational methods
Three modules are outlined in Dialogue for Affinity Groups. The first two are meant to precede the Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation sessions; the third module follows those sessions. Each session lasts two hours. Participants share their personal experiences with intergroup dialogue and analyze the ways they have found support or encountered barriers.
Key topics or themes by module
1. Making Personal and Group Connections to the Issue
This session provides space for participants to explore their own identity, share their experiences with racism, and work together to agree on three issues or ideas that are most significant to their affinity group. The text offers some sample issues for each affinity group; these encompass both structural and individual-level concerns.
2. Preparing Ourselves for Mixed-Group Dialogue
This session helps participants reflect on their previous experiences with mixed-race dialogues and establish their hopes and for the upcoming community-wide sessions. By reflecting on the issues identified in the previous session, participants consider the ways in which allies may help them make progress on these concerns.
3. Addressing Community Change
This final session takes place after the community-wide dialogue has concluded. Participants return to their previously-identified three issues and brainstorm practical projects that they can implement as an affinity group to address these concerns.
Curriculum acquisition information
This dialogue guide is available as a free download on Everyday Democracy’s Issue Guide Exchange. Accessing the document requires registering for a free account.
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