Do you see injustice or violence in your community and want to take action? Do you want to take action but don’t know how? Do you want to connect with others and do something in a focused way? If so, then starting/joining an Affinity Group might be just the thing for you! By becoming part of an Affinity Group, you will build community, become active in your passion of choice (on your focus issue), grow as a leader and practitioner of nonviolence, and develop a plan for specific next steps.
On Earth Peace Affinity Groups are groups of 3-10 people who share an affinity of some kind and a passion for taking nonviolent action on a specific issue. Each affinity group chooses an affinity (a shared identity) (all mothers, all members of the same congregation, all students at a specific school, etc.) and an issue (gun violence, climate change, Christian nationalism, etc). On Earth Peace will provide Affinity Groups with training in Kingian Nonviolence, skill-building, and other support as you take action on your issue in your community. On Earth Peace is starting new affinity groups in the fall of 2023 and you are invited to participate! Come and learn more in our July info sessions.
In fall 2023, we are especially focusing on forming faith-based affinity groups working on gun violence prevention - and we’re open to anyone who is interested. Please be in touch!
July-September: Attend an info session on July 18th, July 19th, or September 9th. Register for an info session here.
August-September: Develop initial statement of purpose for your group
September: Attend orientation to affinity groups + Kingian Nonviolence Intro; develop a 90-day plan for your work. Register for orientation here.
September-December: Begin your group’s work; carry out your 90-day plan; connect with OEP organizers; attend monthly meetups with the larger campaign
If you want to start an affinity group or find out more, sign up for an info session or email Melia at [email protected]
What is an affinity group?
An affinity group is a group of 3-10 people who have an “affinity” of some kind for each other, who learn to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses, who support each other, and who do (or intend to do) active nonviolence work together. An affinity group is built around a common identity (all mothers, all members of same congregation, all students at a specific school, all men, all black women, all musicians/artists, etc.) A group might be in the same physical location or in different locations, based on the group’s affinity and focus. Existing groups can also choose to affiliate as an OEP affinity group in order to build their nonviolence initiative or participate in a specific campaign. OEP affinity groups can be specifically Christian, affiliated with another faith, or have no specific religious affiliation.
What does an affinity group do?
Each OEP affinity group comes together to work on a common project or issue, using the discipline of active nonviolence. You will select your focus topic or goal and “level” (neighborhood, congregation, town, state, etc.). Your group may select a campaign that OEP is currently leading or select your own focus.
While your affinity group will involve educating yourself, it is not just a book group-- the focus is on taking action. And while an affinity group may work to meet immediate needs, it is not just a service group-- it presses for change to the conditions.
An affinity group comes together to make a plan to address a specific issue or situation. Following the discipline of Kingian Nonviolence, we explore escalation-- intensification of effort to address the need until the goal is achieved. We continually consider the next step we can take as we move toward a goal. You will ask, What can we do now about this situation? And, What should society (or our community) do? This will lead to possibility of both meeting immediate needs and pressing for changes to policies.
How will OEP support affinity groups?
- OEP will provide support for each group through periodic check-ins
- OEP will provide trainings in nonviolence and other relevant skills
- OEP will offer community-building/mutual support across affinity groups
- OEP will additionally offer the space for affinity groups to meet with each other virtually, to share goals, updates, and aspirations related to their work
For more information
Contact [email protected]