Strengthening Community at AFAM

December 8, 2021

AFAM is not an acronym - those letters don’t stand for anything other than exactly what they say. A fam, or a family.

“Some people refer to their family as fam,” said AFAM advisor Crystal Flint. “That's what we want to give them - a sense of being together, helping each other through whatever it may be. Just being an additional resource for each other, whether it's emotional, spiritual, or physical support. That's how I see AFAM.”

The group has existed for a long time, but this year Flint is bringing more structure to their regular meetings. The students - mostly Black, with students of all racial backgrounds regularly attending - gather in the Commons during Flex/Lunch to have a safe space to build relationships with one another. Later this school year, Flint will be inviting inspiring alumni to speak to the students, and they are hoping to also go on college visits and other excursions together.

"I would recommend AFAM for almost everyone, I think everyone can benefit from it," said Keyon Archer '25. "From grades and academic help to conversations about race and helping the community, and building relationships, AFAM is 100% worth it." 

In a previous job, Flint was a member of a similar group for students at the University of Minnesota, also called AFAM. There, she learned the importance of relationship building and fellowship, particularly between students of color. 

“It’s a chance for older students to help younger students understand the culture here, for them to build those strong connections and feel like they belong here,” Flint said. 

In addition to helping younger students feel welcome, AFAM also gives the older students an opportunity to serve as mentors. 

“I feel like I have grown a lot in AFAM because I have gained more patience for the younger students,” said Alexis Riley ‘22. “They feel like they can come to me for help and that makes me feel better knowing that I’m setting an example and being a leader. I recommend people come to AFAM because it’s such a great environment and vibe!”


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