Affinity groups are brave spaces convened by undergraduate social work faculty members for students who do not identify with dominant groups. Affinity groups are offered in response to diverse students' experiences of isolation and microaggressions as well as episodes of religious discrimination and flagrant racist, xenophobic, and homophobic actions. The term brave space is chosen to demonstrate that many spaces are never totally safe for those who experience oppression. The affinity groups offered at a midsized public university include Students of Color, LGBTQIAP+, and Coexist. Benefits of group experiences for students include identity development, within-group diversity, social networks, professional development, and faculty–student relationships. Benefits for the undergraduate social work department include modeling strong social work community and group practice, implementation of the implicit curriculum, and a more welcoming social work program for all students. Challenges include protecting group members from dominant group curiosity and microaggressions and accounting for faculty time and effort.
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Research Article| January 01 2019
Affinity Groups: Redefining Brave Spaces
Laura Hunt Trull;
B. J. Bryson;
Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work (2019) 24 (1): 1–18.
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Karen Myers, Laura Hunt Trull, B. J. Bryson, Hyong Suk Yeom; Affinity Groups: Redefining Brave Spaces. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work 1 January 2019; 24 (1): 1–18. doi: https://doi.org/10.18084/1084-7126.96.36.199
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