Philadelphia Affinity Group Network Facilitators

Empowering educators of color to co-create safe, supportive, and transformative spaces

Interested in joining an affinity group as a participant, not a facilitator?

What is the Philadelphia Affinity Group Network?

Teach Plus is launching the Philadelphia Affinity Group Network, which seeks to cultivate authentic, inclusive, intersectional spaces shaped by and for educators of color. These affirming and supportive spaces, rooted in an asset-based understanding of diversity, will support educators in navigating and improving their school environments. They will be connected to a larger network to build alliances and address systemic issues, and will be open to educators currently working in Philadelphia district and charter schools.

The network will begin with 20 affinity groups across the city in 2023-24 and expand to 30 groups in 2024-25. Each affinity group will be facilitated by a teacher leader who will receive ongoing development and support from a Teach Plus leadership coach. Teacher leaders will receive training and be part of a community of practice of fellow facilitators to support them in conceptualizing and designing their affinity group, recruiting members, and leading their group in regular meetings.

What do the Philadelphia Affinity Group Network Facilitators do?

  • Philadelphia Affinity Group Facilitators seek to cultivate authentic, inclusive, intersectional spaces, shaped by and for educators of color
  • Facilitators create affirming and supportive spaces, rooted in an asset-based understanding of diversity, which equip educators in navigating and improving their school environments and are connected to a larger network to build alliances and address systemic issues. After a planning period of October-December 2023, affinity group facilitators will launch these affinity group spaces in January 2024
  • Facilitators will support the design and facilitation of these affinity group spaces until June 2025.
  • Facilitators will receive support in the form of a monthly leadership coaching session, three network-wide events (including a program kick-off taking place October 27-28th, 2023), and a professional learning community with other affinity group facilitators to build skills, share ideas, and work through common problems
  • Facilitators fulfill additional leadership responsibilities, including affinity group participant recruitment, agenda creation and monthly meeting facilitation
  • Facilitators receive a $2,000 stipend for their commitment in year one and a $1,500 stipend in year two

What do we do?

At Teach Plus, we believe in equity-driven teacher leadership. When we invest in developing our most talented teachers into teacher leaders who are well-informed, persuasive, and prepared to lead, they have deep leverage in advancing equity for students, especially for students of color, low-income students, and those from underserved communities.

How Does It Work?

Teach Plus recruits and selects Philadelphia Affinity Group Network Facilitators from across the city who will develop, launch, and facilitate affinity groups in their contexts.  They will become part of a larger movement of racial equity and support for educators of color, with the goal of keeping more educators of color in Philadelphia’s classrooms.

Facilitators design and facilitate Affinity Groups which will:

  • Be responsive to local needs and be designed by facilitators and participants
  • Have at least eight members and meet at least monthly throughout the year (beginning in January year one and in October year two) 
  • Receive additional funds for community building 
  • Participate in a network of educator-led Affinity Groups for educators of color

Why Affinity Groups?

Affinity spaces for educators of color have been identified by researchers as a promising practice for retaining educators of color, particularly Black male educators, by creating culturally affirming environments where teachers of color can share openly, feel solidarity, engage in collaborative problem-solving and support around the unique challenges teachers of color experience, and cultivate tools for self-advocacy and collective advocacy to meet both professional and personal goals. One such program, The Black Teacher Project, found that their affinity-based professional development decreased isolation and increased retention for Black teachers. Recommendations for affinity group spaces have also emerged out of both of Teach Plus’ national research projects involving focus groups of teachers of color.


Teach Plus seeks a cohort of educators of color to facilitate affinity groups. Apply if you:

  • Are an educator with at least two (2) full years of experience within their school/district by August 2023
  • Are an advocate for intersectional justice and racial equity
  • Are able to facilitate collaboration, build relationships and lead complex, sometimes uncomfortable, conversations 
  • Demonstrate capacity for strategic planning, effective communication, problem solving, organization, and group facilitation
  • Are willing to learn about practices and policies that affect retention of educators of color

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