Affinity Groups & Employee Resource Groups

Fall Reception for PSU Professionals of Color, October 2017

Given the disparate nature of an urban commuter institution of this size, coupled with the demographic realities of Oregon, it often takes intentional effort to make culturally-specific connections.  It can also be difficult to find opportunities to connect around other shared identities.  There are several groups on campus dedicated to fostering community among PSU employees.

The groups below are in various stages of development and would welcome your involvement. Please contact a member of the leadership team directly to express your interest.  The possibilities for these groups are endless with regard to focus, impact, and implementation. Activities may range from informal social events and internal personal and professional development to campus-wide programming and community engagement.  


Asian, Asian American & Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group

The Portland State University Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group (API ERG) provides an inclusive space to advocate for the diverse needs of PSU API faculty, staff, students and alumni, including, but not limited to: supporting and empowering API students; recruitment and retention of API faculty, staff, and student employees; facilitating professional development; and promoting API educational, cultural and social awareness.  For further information visit the API ERG page.

Leadership Team:  

Michelle Lee,
Patrick B. Villaflores,


Black Faculty/Staff Affinity Group

The Black Faculty/Staff Affinity Group (BFSAG) is an employee group committed to creating an inclusive, safe and affirming environment for self-defined faculty, staff, and students of direct African descent, including those who also define themselves as biracial or multiracial. BFSAG’s mission aligns with PSU's equity initiatives and strategic goals and supports the recruitment, retention and empowerment of Black faculty, staff, and students, as well as the establishment of networks with Black alumni.  Furthermore, it supports the cultivation of equitable relationships with members of Portland and the region’s Black communities by recognizing that historical and contemporary manifestations of institutionalized racism impact us locally and regionally.  

Leadership Team:  

Isaac Dixon,
Marshawna Williams,


Disability Affinity Group

Portland State University’s Disability Affinity Group strives to cultivate disability community at PSU through engagement, mentorship, advocacy, and peer support. The group is open to faculty and staff who identify as a person experiencing disability. We aim to provide an inclusive space where members can network and learn from each other as we work toward a more equitable climate that recognizes the unique experience of disabled individuals.

Leadership Team:

Jewls Harris,
Chennettée Jelleberg,



Latinx Employee Resource Group

Portland State University’s Latinx Employee Resource Group (ERG) seeks to cultivate opportunities for the growth, retention, and support of the Latinx faculty and staff community on our campus. The Latinx ERG seeks to provide continued engagement by providing space for mentoring, onboarding, networking, and attendance to professional workshops and activities. Together, we strive to make the PSU campus more inclusive and responsive to the needs of our Latinx community.

Leadership Team:  

Andres Guzman,
Natali Pardo,
Pedro Torres,
Tania Sanchez,


Multiracial Staff & Faculty Employee Resource Group

The Multiracial Staff and Faculty Affinity Group provides opportunities for multiracial staff and faculty (those who identify as more than one race) to build community with each other at Portland State University. This affinity group also strives to create a safe space for multiracial staff and faculty to process experiences they have in the workplace. 

Leadership Team:

Andrea Griggs,
Sheena Ino,



At PSU, we emphasize community-based support of Indigenous student recruitment and retention. We are committed to supporting and advancing the educational journey of our Indigenous students. In the words of our Tewa elder, Dr. Greg Cajete, "What is called education today was, for American Indians, a journey of learning to be fully human.  Learning about the nature of the spirit in relationship to community and the environment was considered central to learning the full meaning of life" (1994). 

Leadership Team:  

Yolonda Salguiero,
Maria Tenorio,


Queer and Trans Employee Resource Group

Come hang out with the Queer and Trans Employee Resource Group! Our goal is to build community and a greater connection for our queer and trans communities at Portland State University. This is a new group with an intention to socialize and develop personal and professional relationships.

Leadership Team:  

Easton Henrikson,
Erica Geller,
K Keith,


Upcoming Events & Community Affiliations that May be of Interest

National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) is an annual event that several PSU staff and faculty members have participated in over the years and next year NCORE is coming to us!  The upcoming conference will be held in Portland, May 28 - June 1, 2019.  As their website states "NCORE offers five days of major workshops, keynote addresses, special features, and concurrent breakout sessions.  Presenters from across the United States share their knowledge, expertise, and experiences from across all aspects of higher education."  Check out NCORE 2019 for additional information.

Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) is the higher education association representing women in the state of Oregon.  OWHE is focused on the mission to “Facilitate meaningful connection, personal growth, professional advancement, and systemic change for all Oregon women in higher education".  PSU has a chapter that works towards fulfilling OWHE's mission.  The chapter holds events throughout the year to build relationships and explore various professional development topics.  The newsletter includes articles, announcements, and events.  Visit their Google Group page and add yourself to receive the PSU newsletter.  Connect to the larger OWHE organization through Facebook and Instagram. PSU Contacts: Sarah Johnston, & Sarah Kenney,


Note: If you find the cultural designations above too narrow or too broad and would like to propose an additional group, don’t hesitate to contact Lisa Grady-Willis directly at