Philadelphia Affinity Group Network

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

The Philadelphia Affinity Group Network, led by Teach Plus Pennsylvania, will cultivate authentic, inclusive, intersectional spaces, shaped by and for educators of color. These identity-affirming and supportive spaces, rooted in an asset-based understanding of diversity, will support educators in navigating and improving their school environments and will be connected to a larger network to build alliances and address systemic issues.

What is the Philadelphia Affinity Group Network?

The Philadelphia Affinity Group Network, 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 launched with 21 affinity groups across the city in 2023-24 and will expand to 30 groups in 2024-25. Each affinity group is facilitated by a teacher leader who receives ongoing development and support from a Teach Plus leadership coach. Teacher leaders receive training and are 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 support educators in navigating and improving their school environments and are connected to a larger network to build alliances and address systemic issues
  • Facilitators support their peers by forming an affinity group in their context 
  • Facilitators will receive support in the form of a monthly leadership coaching session, three network-wide events (including a program kick-off taking, 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

Our Mission

Teach Plus is a national nonprofit whose mission is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity, and student access. The Teach Plus team exists to breathe life into the Student Opportunity Mandate: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, responsiveness to individual needs, and ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. At the heart of our work is advocacy for collective impact, beginning with classroom teachers.

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.

Facilitator Qualifications

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

  • Are a classroom teacher in the School District of Philadelphia or Philadelphia-based charter school with at least two (2) full years of experience within their school/district by August 2024
  • 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

Application Process

Part 1 – Written Application

The written application asks you to complete general demographic information, short responses and provide a resume. Applications are due April 12, 2024.

Part 2 – Interview

You will be notified by April 22, 2024 if you have been invited to participate in an interview. Interviews will take place May 2-10, 2024.

Part 3 – Selection

You will be notified if you have been selected to become a Philadelphia Affinity Group Network Facilitator. If accepted, you will commit to attending professional development: the in-person Kick-off Convening on Friday, May 31st, 2024 and Saturday, June 1st, 2023, Regional Kickoff in September, End of Year Celebration in June, monthly sessions throughout the program, and monthly one-on-one coaching scheduled around your availability.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Andrea Terrero Gabbadon atgabbadon@teachplus.org

Interested in becoming a facilitator?

Click below to start your application.

Know a teacher leader?

Nominate a teacher who wants to achieve change in their schools and in the broader education system.

Information Session

Attend an Information Session to learn more about the Philadelphia Affinity Group Network Facilitator role and have your questions answered.

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

  • Affinity group for Black educators in North Philadelphia facilitated by Andrea B. 
  • Affinity group for Latino and Dual Language teachers of color facilitated by Cristina G.
  • Affinity group for Black male educators Near Northeast Philadelphia facilitated by Fatim B. 
  • Affinity group for LGBTQIA+ educators of color facilitated by Jamar B. 
  • Affinity group for Black male educators in Northwest Philadelphia facilitated by Jonathan H. 
  • Affinity group for educators of color in Southwest Philadelphia facilitated by Kareemah J. 
  • Affinity group for AAPI educators facilitated by Ken H. 
  • Affinity group for Black male teachers at Mastery Charter Schools facilitated by Kevin G. 
  • Affinity group for educators of color in Northwest Philadelphia facilitated by Monique M. 
  • Affinity group for Black female educators in West Philadelphia facilitated Morgan C. 
  • Affinity group for educators of color in North Philadelphia facilitated by Nicole F. 
  • Affinity group for Latino educators at Mastery Charter Schools facilitated by Noelia U. 
  • Affinity group for women of color in North Philadelphia facilitated by Persia A.
  • Affinity group for early career Black female educators in Northwest Philadelphia facilitated by Seanier K. 
  • Affinity group for mid-career Black female educators in Northwest Philadelphia facilitated by Stephanie F.  
  • Affinity group for educators of color in Far Northeast Philadelphia facilitated by Takiyah P. 
  • Affinity group for educators of color who teach Social Studies/ELA facilitated by Tamarah R. 
  • Affinity group for Mastery Charter School educators of color in Camden facilitated by Tamia M. 
  • Affinity group for Black female educators at Mastery Charter Schools facilitated by Taraya A. 
  • Affinity group for educators of color Near Northeast Philadelphia facilitated by Tatyana W. 
  • Affinity group for Educators of color in Kensington and East Oak Lane facilitated by Tia G.

Teacher Voices