Lauren Snelling is a trained trauma psychotherapist/counselor committed to disrupting systems in an effort to support Black children. Lauren attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in African-American Studies. She went on to receive her Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Lauren created affinity groups for Black children in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, in her role as counselor at the University of Chicago Lab Schools, as a way to provide opportunities for our children to see themselves in others, connect, be seen, heard, valued and recognized. This work was questioned and only partially supported until the groups began and information about the groups were shared widely and unapologetically. These affinity groups continued online during the pandemic and not only created a community, but created ripple effects on placement, engagement, and advocacy.

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