Vision Statement for CERF 2023 Affinity Groups

At CERF 2023, we envision a diverse and inclusive environment where all attendees, regardless of their backgrounds, experiences, or identities, can find a sense of belonging, empowerment, and connection. Our Affinity Groups - catering to Persons with Disabilities, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and LGBTQ+ people - are an integral part of this vision.

*NOTE TO CERF ATTENDEES - We are requesting that only those folks who belong to or identify in one of these Affinity Groups attend these lunch sessions.  We thank you for honoring these important spaces for these members of our CERF Community.


11:30 AM – 1:00 PM PT


Portland Ballroom 255 


Monday, Nov. 13: Persons with disabilities

Wednesday, Nov. 15: LGBTQ+

Thursday, Nov. 16: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)

Allie Tissot, PhD Candidate

Persons with Disabilities Host

Dr. Gio McClenachan


Dr. Mariko Polk

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Host


Our Purpose

The CERF 2023 Affinity Groups serve as safe, welcoming spaces where individuals from these communities can come together to decompress, share their triumphs and challenges, and find solidarity among their peers. We understand the importance of creating a space where your identity is celebrated, and your voice is heard.

What We Offer

Decompression: We recognize that attending conferences and navigating professional spaces can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Our Affinity Groups provide a sanctuary for you to decompress, unwind, and recharge.

Triumphs and Challenges: We encourage members to share their successes, no matter how big or small, and discuss the challenges they face. By doing so, we hope to inspire, uplift, and support each other.

Community Connection: Our Affinity Groups aim to foster a sense of community, where you can connect with like-minded individuals who share similar lived experiences. We believe that finding your community within CERF 2023 is essential for personal and professional growth.

Our Commitment: We are committed to maintaining an atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and inclusivity. Discrimination and prejudice have no place within our groups, and we actively strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Our mission is to ensure that every member can bring their whole selves to CERF 2023, free from fear or judgment.

Join Us

Whether you identify as a person with a disability, a member of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, or as LGBTQ+, we invite you to join our Affinity Groups. Together, we can celebrate diversity, acknowledge shared experiences, and work towards a more inclusive and equitable future in the field of CERF.