The full school community is invited to a special Affinity Group program on Sunday, Oct. 21. The event will include a partial viewing of an "America to Me"
episode and a panel discussion focused on racial relationships and interactions among high school students.
"America to Me" is a 10-part docu-series that offers an intense examination of racial, economic and class issues in Chicagoland's elite Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF). The show shares stories from the school’s students, parents, faculty and staff about the pressures and challenges of high school students. The New York Times called the show “a searing lesson in school inequity.”
Discussion panelists will include: Trustee Evan Smith, editor of The Texas Tribune; alumna Virginia Cumberbatch ’06, director of community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin; and St. Stephen’s dorm parent Jess Narita, who attended OPRF as a student. The panel will be mediated by members of St. Stephen’s various affinity groups.
5:30 p.m. Pizza and drinks outside Hines Black Box theatre
6 to 7 p.m. Watch an episode of "America to Me"
7 to 8 p.m. Panel discussion
This engaging program will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21. Please send an email to Yvonne Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org
to let her know you plan to attend.
Wondering what the term “affinity group” means? An affinity group is a gathering of people who share an identity, such as race, gender, religion, country of origin, language or family status. St. Stephen’s Affinity Group student organization is comprised of five smaller affinity groups that regularly meet to discover what it means to have their shared identity, celebrate successes, raise issues or concerns, and learn information that may affect its members. The different groups’ discussions and activities depend on the needs of its members.
St. Stephen’s various affinity groups include:
- Unapologetic: Black/African-American;
- Espacios Compartidos: Latino/Latina/Latinx
- WOKE: White/Caucasian
- True Colors: LGBTQ
“Some people may wonder why student Affinity Groups are important to have within the larger St. Stephen’s community,” said Yvonne Adams, director of equity and inclusion. “We learn a great deal from conversations and interactions with people from all backgrounds and experiences, which happen on a daily basis at St. Stephen’s. However, we have unique identities that make us see the world in different ways.
“Often, we engage in intercultural dialogue without examining how our identity affects our perceptions, and we stumble into conflict because someone else does not ‘see’ the same things we do,” she explained. “Having conversations in Affinity Groups allows us to begin to examine why we see the world the way we do and acknowledge that we all experience the world differently. This understanding engenders greater acceptance of other peoples’ perspectives, allowing for more fruitful intercultural dialogues and interactions.”