What Are Affinity Groups?

Affinity groups play an important role in building a more inclusive community by providing spaces to nurture positive identity development, empowerment, and belonging. Participants use these spaces to connect, discuss topics connected to their identities, plan cultural celebrations, share personal accomplishments, and support each other in addressing challenges their communities experience.

Active Affinity Groups

Group leaders: Shannon O'Brien & Leslie Brooks

The Antiracist Parent Education affinity group is open to Bertschi School parents and caregivers. Members endeavor to understand their own racial identity, expand their awareness of individual, institutional, and systemic racism, and encourage antiracism through empathy and action. Meetings will focus on discussions of topics relevant to the group.

Meeting dates: Meetings generally follow the DEI speaker series events that happen monthly and other Bertschi parent education events throughout the school year.

Group leaders: Danna Lamont (facilitator), Leslie Kanter (admin)

This space is open to parents, children, faculty, and staff who identify as Asian, Asian American, and Asian Pacific Islander, as well as parents who do not identify with the affinity group but have children who do identify with the affinity group.

The [email protected] affinity group meets monthly and plans events periodically, such as the Lunar New Year Celebration.

Group leaders: LaShondra Hayes, Tenik√° Versey Walker, and Ciera Young

The [email protected] affinity group meets monthly and plans events periodically throughout the year, such as the [email protected] Cookout.

Group leader: Geraldine Rodriguez (interim - seeking new leaders!)

The Hispanic/Latinex affinity group meets monthly and plans events periodically throughout the year, such as the Hispanic & Latinex Heritage Celebration.

Group leader: Kate Goodman

Judaism teaches that human beings need to be together, and being together creates a sense of community and completeness in oneself. The Jewish affinity group aims to help create a Jewish community within Bertschi, as well as teach our larger Bertschi community about some of our Jewish traditions and values. In a time when antisemitic incidents were up 34% in 2021, and antisemitic sentiments are being shared by people in power more often, the affinity group will be a safe space for Jewish community members to share their lived experiences. The group also hopes to provide a Jewish community for the Jewish families who are new to Seattle, as a Jewish community is harder to find in Seattle than other cities.

In addition to creating a safe space for Jewish families, we will host events throughout the school year. One event will be open to the school to allow us to share a holiday and traditions for that holiday. Another event will be closed to just affinity groups members, to also celebrate a holiday together as a Jewish community.

Group leaders: Pueng Vongs & Robin Romanovich

The LGBTQIA+ affinity group is where gender diverse parents, children, faculty, and staff can connect and help organize social and educational events for the school. Our space is open to parents who do not identify with the affinity group but have children who do identify with the affinity group. Allies are welcome to attend the meetings designated specifically as open, and may be asked to volunteer when help is needed.

The LGBTQIA+ affinity group meets monthly and plans events like the quarterly LGBTQIA+ Storytime (open to all).


Current community members interested in joining an affinity group should reach out to the leads listed under each group. To start a new affinity group, contact Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ciera Young.