What is an Affinity Group?

An affinity group is a group of people who share interests, issues, and a common bond or background, and offer support for each other. Typically members are individuals from groups historically and/or currently under- represented in the institution. Common synonyms include: resource group, network group, professional network, special emphasis group. Rationale comes from an acknowledgement that “one size” does not fit “all”.

Affinity groups form by employee request and organizing effort and may reflect:

  • Groups designated by descent (e.g., African American or Black; Latinos/as or Hispanic; Asian American; Native American; and multicultural, etc.)

  • Groups designated by other identities (e.g., international; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ); veterans; first generation; and people living with disabilities, etc.)

The value of Affinity Groups to the ISU community is numerous:

  • Help build a favorable reputation for the University within diverse communities

  • Make a difference in diversity recruitment and retention efforts

  • Enhance marketing and outreach initiatives and ISU’s external

  • Serve as diversity ambassadors

  • Tackle real issues that are central to ISU’s goals and objectives

  • Develop priorities that are short, medium, and long-term

Current Faculty/Staff Affinity Groups

  • Asian and Pacific Islanders Faculty and Staff Caucus

  • Black Faculty Affinity Group

  • Black Faculty and Staff Caucus

  • Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advocacy


If you are interested in participating in the affinity groups above, please email the contacts below: