DAC Affinity Groups

A DAC Affinity Group is an association of faculty and/or staff linked by a common purpose, ideology, or interest related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. DAC Affinity Groups play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed. 

There is strength in numbers. Groups working together, be it in individual UMB schools or the University as a whole, accomplish more than singular voices or efforts. This is the beauty of affinity groups.   

Additionally, DAC Affinity Groups contribute to UMB’s efforts to:

  • Foster inclusion and community through a support network
  • Educate the University community on a DAC Affinity Group’s perspectives and concerns
  • Advocate for policies and programs that meet the needs of its members

Why should I join?

Benefits of joining a DAC Affinity Group include the opportunity for:

  • Professional development and networking with UMB colleagues;
  • A collective voice and relationship with the President’s Diversity Advisory Council;
  • A role in fostering a community of support, respect, and advancement;
  • Engagement in recruitment and retention efforts;
  • Broadening cultural awareness at UMB.

Current Affinity Groups

Unidos @ UMB

Latinos Unidos @ UMB provides Latino administrators, faculty, and staff across all UMB institutions the opportunity to connect with colleagues, share experiences and expertise to promote professional development, raise awareness of issues impacting the Latino community, and actively cultivate an inclusive climate at UMB, in alignment with the University’s 2017-2021 strategic plan.

To join, contact Lilia Mijares, PhD, MLT.


Stonewall Pride

Stonewall Pride provides a safe and affirming space for faculty and staff of UMB who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as allies. Through education, activities, awareness, advocacy efforts, and community outreach, we will strengthen the importance of social equality regarding the LGBTQIA+ community at UMB and within our surrounding community.

To join, contact Mishawn Smith or Lyndsay Smith.

While the DAC Affinity Groups focus on staff and faculty, UMB students have created over 30 affinity groups designed to address the unique needs of the student population. Learn more at https://www.umaryland.edu/university-life/student-organizations/list-of-student-organizations/.


How Can I Create a DAC Affinity Group?

If you have an idea for a new DAC Affinity Group, here's how to get started:

1.) Identify and Contact a DAC Sponsor

Each DAC Affinity Group requires a sponsor from the President’s Diversity Advisory Council. The DAC membership and contact information can be found on our council members page. The DAC sponsor's role is critical and multi-dimensional. 

DAC sponsors:

  • Help guide UMB faculty and/or staff through the formation of DAC Affinity Group.
  • Act as a champion for the DAC Affinity Group.
  • Share information about the DAC Affinity Group's activities. Encourage attendance at key events by engaging the communication channels of the DAC.
  • Encourage and inspire the DAC Affinity Group leadership team, by challenging them to create and implement new and innovative ideas for programs and workshops.
  • Offer visioning advice and a broader perspective so that the DAC Affinity Group's activities align with the University's strategic plan.
  • Allow the DAC Affinity Group leadership team to act in full autonomy with the guidance of the DAC but be available for counsel when needed.


2.) Develop a Group Charter

Each DAC Affinity Group should include a group charter that should include the following:

  • A Mission Statement
    • A brief statement of what you want the DAC Affinity Group to represent and accomplish; its purpose and reason for existing.
  • Value Proposition
    • Clearly defined benefits that faculty and/or staff receive by joining and participating within the DAC Affinity Group.
  • Goals/Objectives

3.) Establish a Leadership and Team

Each DAC Affinity Group should have a defined leadership team to include at a minimum:

  • Chair
    • An individual who leads and oversees the function of the group. The chair helps ensure that the group charter is supported, and outcomes are successful. The chair works most directly with the DAC sponsor. The chair also is responsible for meeting with the DAC sponsor to provide reporting on the group’s metrics and activities.
  • Vice Chair
    • Individual(s) who assist and/or act in the absence of the chair to oversee the function of the group. The vice chair helps ensure that the group charter is supported, and outcomes are successful.
  • Business Manager
    • Individual who supports the administrative functions of the group and submits quarterly activity to the DAC sponsor.

Each DAC Affinity Group can develop committees and assign committee chairs or co-chairs to each based on the goals and objectives of the group. Examples of committees include the following: 

  • Communication/Marketing
    • Assist with website upkeep, developing marketing/branding collateral, social media exposure, and other duties as assigned.
  • Community Relations
    • Assist in forming relationships with internal communities and other DAC Affinity Groups, but also developing partnerships with external diverse communities of Baltimore.
  • Programming
    • Assist with the development of programming and/or workshops that help in the growth of faculty and staff, mentorship, and support the onboarding of new participants within the DAC Affinity Group.

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What is the work of DAC Affinity Groups?

Each DAC Affinity Group should have initiatives that it undertakes to ensure the group is active. Initiatives can stand alone or be joint partnerships with internal and external organizations.

Such initiatives may include:  

  • Events
    • These may be social or professional and also can be an event for the faculty and/or staff participants of the group or include all faculty, staff, and students across the University. In addition, each group should consider developing a signature event that would be a partnership with the President’s DAC.
  • Membership and General Body Meetings
    • A meeting with all faculty and/or staff participants and other key partners to discuss assigned agenda items and present new business initiatives and/or close out old ones. This meeting is also an opportunity for leadership to provide an overall status report of the DAC Affinity Group.
  • Programming
    • These can be a series of workshops or events focused on a specific area aligned with the focus of the group.
  • Workshops
    • Meetings or trainings at which the group engages in discussions and activities on a subject(s) or project(s) aligned with the goals and objectives of the group. 
  • Reporting
    • Each DAC Affinity Group is responsible for submitting a quarterly report to its DAC sponsor that consists of:
      • Quarterly activity of initiatives
      • List of active and non-active members
      • Measures participation at events, workshops, and general body meetings.

What is the role of the President’s Diversity Advisory Council?

The President’s DAC has an important role in the success of the DAC Affinity Groups:

  • Provides guidance and support to DAC Affinity Groups;
  • Assists in the development of new DAC Affinity Groups;
  • Assists in any relaunch or rebranding of existing DAC Affinity Groups;
  • Provides ongoing mentorship to the DAC Affinity Groups; 
  • Each DAC Affinity Group has a DAC sponsor, who provides day-to-day advice and acts as the liaison to the DAC.