AABC Affinity Circles
for Members of the Global Majority, LGBTQIA+, and White Allyship
The AABC Diversity + Inclusion Committee invites members to participate in quarterly Affinity Circle meetings. Our upcoming May meetings are an exciting opportunity to engage in community building and self growth and collective learning.
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.
- White Allyship
These meetings are designed to create a safe space for members to explore identity, areas of concern, and community change. These sessions will be facilitated by AABC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultants, Sarah Hansen and Amanda Neatrour, of the EnterChange Group.
Members may attend as many Affinity Circle meetings as they like, but we ask that members only participate in meetings for groups with which they identify. (This means white people should not attend the Members of the Global Majority Circle and straight people should not attend the LGBTQIA+ Circle).
These Affinity Circle meetings 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.
During the meetings, we will meet as a large group and may also break out into smaller groups. You will come together with people you may or may not know, though all participants will be members of AABC. When participating in the Affinity Circle, folks will be asked questions to explore the month’s topic on a deeper level. Each participant will have the responsibility to listen and an opportunity to be heard. We invite participants to bring their full selves to these meetings and thus recognize that sometimes folks may want to “pass” their turn to speak, and that is OK!
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:
- Am I prepared to listen deeply to those I may not agree with?
- Am I prepared to share my experience and perspective, even if other folks disagree with me?
- 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.)
- Do I have apprehension about attending, and if so, am I ready to share it with someone?
- 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 Communities on Mobilize 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.