"Affinity groups allow students who share an identity — usually a marginalized identity — to gather and talk in a safe space about issues related to that identity. By doing so they can transfer that discussion into action which makes for a more equitable experience at school."
-Monita K. Bell, author of "Making Space"
Affinity Groups vs. Clubs
A club is a group on campus that is open to anyone (within a particular division or grade level) who wants to participate in the organization's effort. On the other hand, an affinity group is a space created solely for those who identify as members of a particular group. These affinity groups are designed so that people belonging to a certain identity feel that they can share their common experiences openly and safely in a trusting and understanding environment.
A good example to illustrate this distinction occurs between Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club vs. the LAMBDA affinity group. The former is open to anyone, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and/or allies; the latter is a space for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and allyship is not a component.