Affinity groups are formed around a shared identity or common goal to build community among members of non-dominant identities and to foster inclusion and a sense of belonging at Augusta University. 

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as guiding principles. A key way to do this is by supporting the creation of affinity groups on campus with the support of the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Associate Provost of Faculty Affairs.

Augusta University and Augusta University Health currently support a wide range of groups including:

  • Black Faculty & Staff Association
  • LGBTQIA Faculty & Staff Association (LGBTQIAFSA)
  • Women of Color in Leadership
  • Different Abilities WEB Network (DAWN)
  • Latinos in Action
  • Men of Color in Leadership
  • Proud Parents of LGBTQ+ Children

Faculty and staff are welcome to join Augusta University or AU Health groups, depending on their interest.

Why establish an Affinity Group?

Two men smiling and talking together
Two women posing together smiling
Group of students outside talking together

Affinity groups play an important role in fostering an inclusive campus environment, contributing to efforts to:

  • Create inclusion and community through a support network of mentors, allies, and peers.
  • Educate the broader campus community on a minority group’s perspectives and concerns.
  • Recruit and retain members of minority groups and their allies.
  • Advocate for policies and programs that meet the needs of members of nondominant groups.

Each affinity group determines its own scope and priorities. To receive support and recognition from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a group should:

  • Be as open as possible to all Augusta University employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) around the affinity topic or identity.
  • Have a clear sense of purpose, including a mission statement that contributes to the larger university’s mission and core values.
  • Have a public presence, such as a website.
  • Meetings should be open. 

Affinity groups are not part of the formal governance structure (i.e., not a committee), but rather are sites of community engagement and formation.

How to create an Affinity Group

Here are the necessary steps needed to create an affinity group on campus.

  1. Identify the focus of the affinity group. For example:
    • AU has a Black Faculty & Staff Association, an LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Association, and a newly established First Generation Faculty & Staff Association.
    • Are you interested in creating an affinity group for Disability, Latinx, and/or Others?
  2. Identify key officers and other individuals interested in serving on the executive board of the affinity group.
    • Key officers may include Co-chairs, Secretary, Treasurer
  3. Develop the purpose of the group beyond the identity focus.
  4. Craft bylaws (and charter) for the affinity group.
  5. Submit requested materials via the form on the ODI website.