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Affinity and Alliance Spaces

Each of us can go through the same thing, but our experiences will be completely different.

Support, Educate, Empower

affinity and alliance Spaces

All Potomac students have opportunities to join discussion groups that help support, educate, and empower others. In affinity spaces, those that share an identifier, such as race, religion or gender, come together to discuss their personal and shared experiences. In alliance spaces, students of all identities who share a common goal meet to learn and to think about how they might further educate their community about building a safe, inclusive, and equitable school.

Affinity Spaces

Potomac's Affinity Spaces allow students to celebrate a shared identity of some kind. Joining a student club centered around a specific identifier gives students  a special space to meet with people who are similar to them in a key way. Affinity group members can speak from personal, firsthand experience about a particular identity. Some Potomac affinity groups include the Asian American Pacific Islander Affinity Group, the Empowering Women of Color Group, the Multiracial Affinity Group, and the Ninth Grade Girls Group.

Alliance Spaces

Alliance Spaces at Potomac give students the opportunity to join with others in solidarity. Student clubs that prioritize building alliance consist of both members of a particular identity and people who want to show support for them. Being part of an alliance group is a wonderful way to increase inclusivity, advocacy, and awareness of various issues within the Potomac community. Potomac alliance groups include the Black Student Alliance, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, the Gender Equity Activities Club, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference Activities Club, Muslim Student Alliance, Hispanic Student Alliance, and others. 

Interest Groups

Potomac offers a number of interest groups for students who would like to learn more about a particular identity, tradition, or experience, particularly alongside those who are already knowledgeable about that topic. Where affinity groups focus on safety and alliance groups focus on advocacy, interest groups center around education. Interest group members enter each meeting with open minds, ready to question their assumptions. Some groups include the Asia Activities Club, the Guess Who’s Coming to Lunch Club, the Hip-Hop Matters Activities Club, the “Many Voices, One Community” Activities Club, the Spanish Language and Culture Lunch Club, and the Student Diversity Leadership Club.

Affinity Spaces Build CommunityAffinity groups are spaces where students can find others who are able to relate to their experiences based on cultural identities, providing opportunities for understanding and mutual support. Affinity groups help students feel a sense of community and develop healthy self-identities and positive relationships. Read more to see what IS and US students have to say about why affinity groups are important to them. 

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Students View New "Black Panther" Film

Over the weekend, Potomac IS and US students from the IS Black Student Alliance and US Black Student Union had the opportunity to watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The latest Marvel film pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character in the previous installment. The movie also celebrates Black culture while portraying an ideal picture of a world in which diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging provide a deep foundation for a thriving community. 

We hope that viewing this film will inspire Black and Brown Potomac students to come together and work for growth and change in our community. Now, that's true power! 

HSA Hosts Lunchtime Conversation

To mark the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Upper School's Hispanic Student Alliance hosted a lunchtime conversation featuring Silvia Thornton Freeman, director of education and arts engagement at DC's GALA Hispanic Theatre. In a conversation facilitated by club leader Tea Picconatto '22, Ms. Thornton Freeman spoke about the history of GALA and her role there. A Bolivian-American arts manager who has worked in the nonprofit arts sector for 15 years. Ms. Thornton Freeman came to GALA in 2009 as an intern and was later hired to facilitate student matinees. In this role, she solidified GALA’s Education Department by creating winning marketing strategies, building strong relationships with schools, and more. Mr. McLane treated the luncheon attendees to sopapillas, a sweet treat, at the conclusion of the conversation. 

Two newly minted clubs, the Middle Eastern - North African Student Alliance and Virginia Teen Democrats, joined forces last week to host a robust lunchtime conversation about current events in Iran. Their meeting began with a brief overview of the death of Mahsa Amini, followed by a review of the global media coverage surrounding the protests. The discussion touched on the topic of women's rights in Iran and the required wearing of the hijab.