AABC Affinity Circles

AABC Affinity CirclesThe AABC Diversity + Inclusion Committee invites members to join our online Affinity Circles to connect and create community with people of similar identities, cultural values, and lived experiences in the birth center world.

Affinity Circles are offered for the following groups:

  • Members of the Global Majority - Because historic minoritizing and marginalizing has continually occurred to Black, brown, Asian, and additional people of color, we respectfully use the collective term the Global Majority in our attempt to affirm and positively represent the people who hold these racial identities, as well as recognize that these folks comprise over 80% of the global population.
  • LGBTQIA+ - This circle is open to anyone who resonates with an identity outside of cisgender, heterosexual/romantic identity. LGBTQIA+ does refer to sexual and romantic identity, but can also branch further to a sociopolitical state of mind that rejects putting people into boxes that are "socially acceptable" or not.
  • White Allyship/Accompliceship - For White individuals dedicated to support for racial justice through community, education, advocacy and activism. This is a great space to learn more about the lived experiences of BIPOC folks, as well as find ways to support Members of the Global Majority.
  • LGBTQIA+ Allyship/Accompliceship - For cisgender, heterosexual individuals dedicated to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community through community, education, advocacy, and activism. This is a great space to learn more about LGBTQIA+ identity and lived experience, as well as find ways to support the community.

These communities are designed to create a safe space for members to explore identity, areas of concern, and community change. These community groups will be moderated by individuals who resonate with these identities and can support in keeping these spaces safe and engaging.

These Affinity Circles are informed by restorative practice and healing/listening circles, drawing on lessons from elders and ancestors across Indigenous peoples and communities throughout the world, and focusing on shared emotional connection and exploration of social and systemic impacts on our lived experiences of our identities. 

In our Affinity Circles, we will engage with each other through discussion posts and questions, surveys/polls, idea exchange, resource sharing, and more. You will come together with people you may or may not know, though all participants will be members of AABC. Each member will have the responsibility to listen and an opportunity to be heard. We invite participants to bring their full selves to these communities and thus recognize that sometimes folks may want to “pass” on engaging with a post or event, and that is OK! While we encourage consistent participation and pushing outside of our comfort zones for growth, we also want to allow folks to only engage in ways that feel safe. 

In order to help you prepare for this experience and decide if you would like to attend, we ask you to please reflect on the following questions:

  1. Am I prepared to listen deeply to those I may not agree with?
  2. Am I prepared to share my experience and perspective, even if other folks disagree with me?
  3. Am I prepared to sit in discomfort? (Recognizing that comfort and safety are not the same; learning inherently involves struggle and tension as we wrestle with concepts and their real impacts. We invite participants to help us create a safer space where folks can speak, actively listen, and interact with honesty and empathy, and this often requires challenging ourselves and engaging in the discomfort involved in growth.)
  4. Do I have apprehension about attending, and if so, am I ready to share it with someone? 
  5. Will I be able to address the apprehension and still participate?

Affinity Circle Communities

We're excited to offer an extension of our Affinity Circle Events to provide continuity between meetings. These Affinity Circle Groups in the AABC Community will allow members to exchange ideas and respond to relevant articles and prompts. We know midwives and birth center staff live busy and often unpredictable lives, so the Affinity Circle Communities are an opportunity to plug in even if you weren't able to attend this quarter's meeting. 

Registration coming soon>>