EDI, HR launch guidelines for Employee Affinity Groups

The Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with Human Resources, has announced a new framework to establish, manage and sustain university-supported Employee Affinity Groups.

Employee Affinity Groups, or EAGs, are created and facilitated by employees around interests, backgrounds, identities and common bonds to help foster a positive work environment at Vanderbilt and support the university’s values specific to diversity, inclusion and campus engagement.  

“These special groups are wonderful ways for faculty and staff to connect with each other and bring their interests, passions and authentic selves into an inclusive Vanderbilt community,” said Dr. André L. Churchwell, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer.

Campus networking

Engagement in EAGs also can provide connection and professional and personal development for the participants.

“These groups create an excellent opportunity to network among the larger campus community and create relationships beyond your specific department,” said Laura Nairon, interim associate vice chancellor of people and business services.

The Employee Affinity Groups are open to all employees of Vanderbilt University.

Current Employee Affinity Groups on campus

There are currently three EAGs available to Vanderbilt staff and faculty. If you are a member of or aware of additional groups or organizations, please contact so that groups can be integrated into the university groups and receive support to become an official EAG.

Association of Vanderbilt Black Faculty and Staff

The Association of Vanderbilt Black Faculty and Staff was created in July 2020 under the umbrella of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. The AVBFS has a three-fold mission: to support and uplift Black faculty and staff; to build and maintain a sense of community among Black faculty and staff; and to advocate for the recruitment, retention and advancement of Black faculty and staff at Vanderbilt.

Membership is open to all faculty and staff in the Vanderbilt community who support the mission of AVBFS. The group hosts monthly general-body meetings, as well as other periodic programs, to foster community, promote social and professional networking, offer professional development, and offer mentoring support for Black students, faculty and staff.

Anyone interested in joining AVBFS can complete this interest form or contact Rosevelt Noble, director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center


This group is a place for employees who identify as LGBTQI+ and their allies. The LGBTQI+ Affinity Group will host regular meetings aimed at providing resources for LGBTQI+ employees and allies, including social networking, meetups, guest speakers, support navigating workplace interactions and more.

For more information or to join, contact Linzie Treadway.

Golden Dores

Golden Dores targets employees who are age 50 and older, as well as allies. The group’s kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2021, via Zoom. The group will host regular meetings covering topics such as Medicare/Social Security workshops, investing, eldercare and more. Golden Dores also plans to host in-person, fun events, such as attending an athletic game, hopefully in the summer or fall of 2021.

For more information or to join, contact David Linn or Andy Richter.

Create an Employee Affinity Group

Staff are welcome to form their own EAG, provided the organization furthers the Vanderbilt mission and creates community for all. To form an EAG, employees must develop groups that have the following:

  • Designated leader or leaders who commit to an initial term of at least two years.
  • Participation in the EAG Leadership Council, which will consist of leaders from the different EAG groups. The council is currently being formed and will meet at least quarterly with HR and EDI leadership to identify opportunities, challenges and ways to enhance the Vanderbilt community.
  • Minimum membership of 10 individuals upon launch, with which EAG leadership can assist if needed.
  • Mission statement that aligns with the central Vanderbilt mission and ongoing commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
  • Executive sponsor who is willing to meet with EAG leadership regularly to advocate and self-regulate. While required to formally launch an EAG, it is not necessary to have the sponsor identified at the time of application.
  • Completed an application to form a new EAG.

For more information or to suggest a new group, visit the Employee Affinity Group website  or contact