Faculty Affinity Groups

People holding hands

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, Latine, Multiracial, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islanders , 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 all doctoral and MFA students.

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


    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.  

    Spring 2023 Meetings

    February 21, 12 noon - Celebrating AAPI Identity and DEI at Mason (Guest: Dr. Sharnnia Artis, VP for DEI)

    March 22, 12 noon - A conversation about wellbeing and Healing (Guest: Dr. Al Fuertes)

    April 18, 12 noon - K-Pop and Cultural Influences (Guest: Dr. Crystal Anderson)       


    For the Zoom link to join the meeting, contact Ms. Amy Ayres or Dr. Millie Rivera


    Aging Parents Employee Support Group

    Join other Mason employees in navigating the challenges related to having aging parents. This group is for employees with aging parents who are looking to connect with others, share advice, and be part of a supportive community.



    The group will meet monthly over Zoom on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. If you are interested in joining or have questions, please contact Laura Winkler at lwinkler@gmu.edu.

    Black Male Faculty and Staff Group

    The mission of the Black Male Faculty and Staff 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. This group seeks to share resources/information, and build relationships in a space that is safe, vulnerable, and accessible. Join our 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 listserv and the Microsoft Teams Group, or if you have any questions, please contact Philip Wilkerson at pwilkers@gmu.edu.

    BLIM—Black, Latine, Indigenous, Multiracial Faculty

    Black, Latine, 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.   

    Spring 2023 Meetings

    February 9 at 12 noon - Topic: Recruitment Hiring and Retention of BLIM Faculty. 

    March 8 at 12 noon - Topic:  Reimagining Faculty Roles and Rewards. 

    April 11 1at 12 noon - Theme: Celebrating our Diversity—Bring your own Culture. 


    If you did not receive an email with the Zoom link via our BLIM Listserv, contact Ms. Amy Ayres or Dr. Millie Rivera and we will send you the links for the meetings. 

    First-Gen Affinity Group

    The mission of the First-Gen Affinity Group is to build a supportive, cross-campus network of First-Gen professionals, and to provide spaces for information sharing and community-building. This group brings together Mason faculty and staff, who actively seek to support one another’s professional development while supporting the success of Mason’s robust first-generation student community through engagement with First-Gen-focused initiatives, including Mason’s First Gen+ Center.  

    Spring 2023 Meetings

    February 15 at 1 p.m. This is a meeting to build community and discuss what Mason first-generation faculty and staff would like this group to do and be—e.g., sharing information, advocacy, supporting first-gen students and the First Gen Center, etc. 

    If you did not receive an email with the Zoom link for this meeting, contact Ms. Amy Ayres or Dr. Millie Rivera and we will email it to you. 

    First Gen March Meeting (in person), Monday, March 27, 2023 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, First Gen Center, SUB 1, Suite 2400

    *Bring your own drink/lunch if you wish!

    First Gen April Meeting (in person), April 27, 2023 11:00am-12pm, Contemporary Student Lounge, The Hub, Room 1012 

    *Bring your own drink/lunch if you wish!

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

    Spring 2023 Meetings

    Coming soon!

    Juntos—Mason Hispanic/Latine Alliance

    The mission of Juntos (Mason Hispanic/Latine Alliance) is to cultivate a safe and inclusive campus community that affirms cultural awareness and belonging. Juntos seeks to center the Hispanic/Latine experience by advocating for the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse faculty and staff, and by engaging, elevating, and holistically supporting our Hispanic/Latine community at Mason.   

    Spring 2023 Meetings

    Cafecito Hour  (Coffee Hour) - February 23 at 3 p.m., Arlington Campus (Vanmeter Hall, Room 716),


    Cafecito Hour (Coffee Hour) - March 7 at 9 a.m., Fairfax Campus (JC Bistro)  


    Pan-American Day (Cultural Lunch)*- April 14 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Fairfax Campus (JC Bistro)  

    *This will be a potluck lunch, representing the many Hispanic cultures of the Americas.  Attendees are encouraged to wear cultural clothing. Here is a sign-up list where you can indicate which food/dessert you will contribute. If you have questions, please reach out to  Kerin Anne Hilker-Balkissoon (khilkerb@gmu.edu) or Millie Rivera (mriver4@gmu.edu).


    Please use this link to register for the in-person events. 

    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.

    Mason Disability+ Justice Coalition

    The Mason Disability+ Justice Coalition is a social justice group that strives to create a safe and inclusive space for staff/faculty with disabilities, and their allies. Disability can include, but is not limited to, sensory, intellectual, mental health/psychiatric, neurodivergent, physical/mobile, and learning disabilities. Whether you are diagnosed, self-diagnosed, or questioning, this space is for you. We believe that silence only leads to isolation and shame, which is why we will work to dismantle the stigma surrounding disabilities and celebrate the intersectionality of our unique experiences. Our mission is to foster a community where we can discuss and combat discriminatory practices and cultures, share resources, successes, and challenges, and create a welcoming environment where everyone feels celebrated. We are committed to moving from awareness to joy and pride, and we welcome all university staff and faculty to join us in this important journey. 

    Working Mothers Support Group

    The Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason is one way Mason faculty, staff, and students can come together, discuss the issues confronting working mothers, and perhaps motivate changes on campus. If you are interested in sharing stories and being part of an informal organization of working mothers, please visit the Working Moms Support Group website for more information. For additional information or questions, please contact engagehr@gmu.edu.