Affinity Groups

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Contact Faculty Affairs with questions about the Affinity Groups

About Faculty Affinity Groups

As part of Mason's commitment to inclusive excellence, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development supports faculty and doctoral students’ affinity groups. These groups provide our diverse faculty and doctoral students with a sense of community, inclusion and belonging. The groups also serve as safe spaces for discussion of issues that impact the success and well-being of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Multiracial, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islanders and First-Generation faculty members and historically underserved doctoral students. Finally, the affinity groups facilitate connections and professional partnerships and champion strategic efforts to support the success of their members. The faculty affinity groups are open to all instructional/research faculty—tenured, tenure-track, term, and adjuncts. The doctoral students’ affinity group is open to doctoral and MFA students from historically underserved groups. 

For more information about any of the affinity groups, contact Dr. Milagros (Millie) Rivera, Director of Faculty Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing.


    AAPI—Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander Faculty 

    Many AAPI faculty members and staff have experienced some form of discrimination or racial profiling that affected their personal life or career development. The wave of “Asian Hate” that surged during the COVID-19 pandemic is of great concern to the AAPI community. The mission of the AAPI Affinity Group is two-fold: (1) to provide a safe forum for discussing work and life experiences that affect AAPI faculty and staff; and (2) to celebrate diversity at Mason. We strive to build a supportive community that will improve quality of life and work experiences at Mason. We are dedicated to embracing diversity, overcoming racism, and raising cultural awareness within the University.  

    AY 2021-2022 Meetings




    Online Only Feb. 9, from noon-1:00pm Register!
    Online Only Mar. 22, from noon-1:00pm Register!
    Face to face Apr. 14, noon Innovation Hall 427

    BLIM—Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial Faculty

    Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Multiracial faculty regularly contend with systems rooted on racist policies and practices, which hinder their advancement, place undue burdens on them, and leave them operating in inequitable spaces. The mission of the BLIM group is to promote a sense of community among its members, improve their quality of life, and offer an atmosphere of cultural and social networking among its members. The group also seeks to share best practices to support the advancement and retention of faculty from historically marginalized groups, create a stronger collective voice to challenge racist and exclusionary practices, and provide safe spaces for rest and rejuvenation.   

    AY 2021-2022 Meetings




    Online Only Feb. 10, from noon-1:00pm Register!
    Online Only Mar. 23, from noon-1:00pm Register!
    Online Only Apr. 19, from noon-1:00pm Register!

    HUDS—Historically Underserved Doctoral Students

    HUDS provides a welcoming and safe space for students who don’t always feel reflected or supported on campus or have faced or experienced social, economic, and historical challenges. The mission of the group is to bring doctoral and MFA students together and promote a sense of community through resource and information sharing and access to mentorship and networks that positively impact educational and career outcomes. The group also serves to increase access to critical services based on unique identities or specific needs. Finally, the HUDS Affinity Group names and addresses systemic issues that hinder the likelihood of educational success of Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Indigenous, Biracial, Multiracial, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, African students as well as working students with families, military and veteran students, and first-generation students.*

    AY 2021-2022 Meetings

    Session Topic



    Destination Success: Not All PhD Journeys Look Alike:


    Depending on how the numbers are calculated, PhD graduates have, on average, between 10 and 30% chances of finding a permanent (tenure track) job in academia. The odds for students of color are probably lower since some studies indicate that they are more likely to be hired in contract or adjunct positions than on tenure track positions. In this conversation with historically underserved doctoral students, Dr. Maria Uriyo will share her journey post-PhD. Her message: There are many ways to succeed professionally post-PhD.

    Feb. 14, from 2:45-4:00pm Register!

    Telling Your Story: CV and Resumé Creation for Historically Underserved Doctoral Students:


    Telling your story, sharing your qualifications, and showcasing your credentials is key to the success of a doctoral student, PhD candidate, and professional academic/industry professional. In a conversation on telling your story, Dr. Crystal Anderson, Assistant Director for Teaching Excellence in the Stearns Center and affiliate faculty in African and African American Studies, and Kristin Leonato, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives in University Career Services, will share their thoughts and experiences being on the job market themselves and advising doctoral students for their future careers, both in academia and/or in industry professions. Come with questions and be ready for a fun conversation. (The HUDS Mentoring Sessions are a collaboration among Faculty Affairs & Development, the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance and  Graduate University Life)

    Mar. 23, from 2:45-4:00pm Register!

    How to highlight your skills/journey when applying for academic/non-academic and NGO jobs in your cover letter:


    There are many professional pathways available to PhD graduates. In this session a panel representing STEM and Humanities and Social Sciences discusses how to highlight your academic and nonacademic experience (e.g. work/consulting you may have done for corporations and nonprofit organizations) so your cover letter will effectively showcase your broad set of professional experiences in a compelling manner. (The HUDS Mentoring Sessions are a collaboration among Faculty Affairs & Development, the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance and  Graduate University Life)

    Apr. 19, from 2:45-4:00pm Register!

    *This list is not exhaustive. If you face or have experienced marginalization, this group welcomes you!

    LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance

    The mission of the LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance is to support the University’s mission and vision through the promotion of an inclusive and affirming campus climate for all faculty, staff, and students. Membership in the LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance shall be open to all faculty and staff currently employed at George Mason University on a part-time or full-time basis, including graduate assistants.

    Please visit the LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Alliance webpage to learn more and become a member.

    Black Male Faculty and Staff Group

    The Black Male Faculty and Staff Group is open to anyone who identifies with the Black diaspora and male gender. The mission of this group is to promote a sense of community among its members, improve their quality of life, and offer an atmosphere of cultural and social networking among its members. This group is intended for members across campus to connect, share resources/information, and build relationships in a space that is safe, vulnerable, and accessible. Join fellow Black male faculty and staff for meetings on a monthly basis for meaningful conversation and support, as well as occasional in-person activities. For the meeting schedule, to be included on the Black Male Faculty and Staff listserv and Microsoft Teams Group, or if you have any questions, please contact Philip Wilkerson at