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Identity-Based Resources

Identity Initiatives

Identity Initiatives serve all undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students as resource hubs and support networks for institutionally under-resourced and marginalized communities at Vanderbilt University. Existing initiatives include:

  • APIDA for students who identify as Asian Pacific Islander Desi American
  • Chabad and Hillel for Jewish students
  • InclusAbility for students who identify with visible and invisible disabilities, physical health conditions and diseases, mental health conditions, and neurodiversity
  • IndigenousVU for Native and Indigenous students
  • Islamic Center of Nashville for Muslim students
  • MilitaryVU for military-connected students
  • Network First Gen for first-generation college students (i.e. students whose supporting parent(s) did not complete a baccalaureate degree)
  • PersistVU for students with low-income
  • SomosVU for Latin American and Hispanic students
  • VUGlobalCitizens for students who identify as “International” or “Global”

Identity Centers

Affinity Groups

To join an affinity group, please submit your request here.

Interested in being a student or faculty/staff facilitator? Let us know here.

Ace/Aro Affinity Group: The Ace/Aro affinity group provides a supportive space for people who identify on the asexual and/or aromantic spectrums to discuss their experiences as it relates to navigating both queer and heteronormative spaces.

BlackOut Affinity Group: BlackOut is an affinity group that facilitates the coming together of Black LGBTQIA+ members of the Vanderbilt community in order to provide support and share space and experiences. BlackOut is co-sponsored by The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.

Bi/Pan/Fluid Affinity Group: The Bi/Pan/Fluid affinity group provides a supportive and brave space for people who want to explore bi/pan/fluid or otherwise non-straight/non-heterosexual identities and experiences. Join us for conversation, exploration, and fun!

*Gay Men Affinity Group: The Gay Men affinity group provides a supportive environment for students who identity as men/male/masculine and gay to make friends, share resources, and participate in meaningful discussions.

LatinQ Affinity Group: The LatinQ affinity group is an opportunity for people who identify as LGBTQIA+and are Latin American to share resources, build community, and discuss the intersections of all their identities.

Plurality Affinity Group: Plurality provides a brave space for LGBTQIA+ people who identify with or are practicing polyamory or consensual non-monogamy. Plurality delves into the history, representations, and skills involved with polyamory and consensual non-monogamy. Join us for resources and discussions!

Recovery Support Pride Affinity Group: In partnership with Vanderbilt Recovery Services (VRS) we would like to introduce VRS (Vanderbilt Recovery Support) PRIDE. This group is specifically for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and are either in recovery* or are currently struggling with habits that are ultimately detrimental to one’s wellbeing. Zoom details can be found here.

*Queer & Asian Affinity Group: The Queer and Asian (Q&A) affinity group provides space for students who are LGBTQIA2S+ and Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander. Join us for resources, conversation, and fun!

Queerality Affinity Group: The Queerality affinity group provides an opportunity for students to explore both queer and religious identities and topics. Join us for exploration, fun, and great conversations. All religious/non-religious and spiritual identities are welcome.

Queer Graduate and Professional Student Affinity Group: The Queer Graduate and Professional Student affinity group (QGPS) creates a space for LGBTQIA+ Vanderbilt University graduate and professional students to come together and discuss shared experiences, consider their own identities, and build community beyond their own school or program.

Queer Affinity Group for Fraternity Members: VQ-AGFM creates opportunities for Queer current or recent members of Vanderbilt Fraternities to share space and, build community, and resources about their shared identities. VQ-AGFM is a casual group that enjoys great conversation and fun activities!

Queer Sorority Members Affinity Group: QSAG provides an opportunity for students who identify as LGBTQIA+ and are current or recent members of a campus sorority to share experiences and find resources. Join us for conversation and fun!

*TGQ Affinity Group: TGQ is an affinity group that provides space to discuss the continuum of gender identity and expression, particularly for students who identify across the Trans spectrum, as well as those questioning. Join us for conversation, community, fun, and resources!

Willow Affinity Group: Willow provides an affirming, open space for women, women-aligned people, and lesbians attracted to other women, women-aligned people, and lesbians to discuss their experiences, share resources, and find a focused, supportive community where their identities are centered. Join us for meetings, movie nights, and more.

Women in the Academy: This program offers Ph.D. students and postdocs a chance to reflect on the ways in which gender affects their professional experiences in the academy.

Work-Life Workshop: For faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs

American Assembly for Men in Nursing Affinity Group; Middle Tennessee Chapter at Vanderbilt

  • The mission of American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) is to provide a framework for nurses, as a group, to meet, to discuss and influence factors which affect men as nurses. Members of AAMN have a voice in local, state and national events that impact nursing and male nurses. The National Board of Directors, Chapter Leaders, and Committee Members are all members of the national Assembly.

For information, contact adviser Chance Allen or visit VUSN'S AAMN chapter. 

Asian Pacific Islander and Desi American (APIDA) Student Nurses

  • Given the nurse's position as the foremost patient advocate, VUSN APIDA Student Nurses aims to use our personal experiences as minorities within the health care system to give a voice to Asian American and Pacific Islander clients and their communities by increasing awareness of the health disparities unique to these populations. This organization will advocate for this population from a place of true understanding. Ultimately, we aim to support and enrich both the experiences of students and clients through education, open dialogue, networking, and advocacy.

For more information contact Chorong Park or Rebekah Hayes .

Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) PreSpecialty Affinity Group

  • The Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Pre-Specialty Affinity Group was created to support the sociocultural needs of BIPOC Pre-Specialty students. The goal of this organization is to explore the nursing and advanced practice nursing role in health care and serve as a resource for students. Our monthly lunch and learn sessions are designed to provide a space to discuss topics of interest and facilitate open dialogue and peer networking.

For more information contact Dr. Brandee MaddenProfessor Shaunna Parker, or Professor Taneesha Reynolds.  

Black Student Nurses Affinity Group

  • The Black Student Nurses Affinity Group was founded in the 1990s by a group of VUSN African American students who felt a need for an organization that focused on the socio-cultural needs of African American nursing students. Part of its core activity includes an emphasis on mentoring of first-year nursing students by second-year students. It also hosts activities to assist students in exploring the role of advanced practiced nurses in health care and serves as a resource network for students. Each academic year culminates with BSNO sponsoring VUSN Diversity Month and Diversity Day. 

For more information, contact Dr. Jannyse Tapp or Dr. Julia Steed.

DNP Diversity Affinity Group

  • The purpose of the DNP Student Diversity Affinity Group is to foster a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences for all VUSN DNP students by promoting support, setting expectations, creating resources and tools to celebrate and elevate our  professional and academic environment.

Hispanic/Latinx Student Nurses Affinity Group

  • The Hispanic/Latinx Student Nurses Affinity Group inaugural meeting was held fall semester of 2018. The group focuses on the health care needs of individuals of Hispanic and Latino populations. As future advanced practice nurses, one of the missions of the group is to educate peers and faculty about the health needs, disparities and evidence-based solutions for Hispanic and Latino populations while providing networking and support for members.

For more information, contact Dr. Shelza Rivas or Mariah Ramirez .

Medical Christian Fellowship*

  • Medical Christian Fellowship is an inter-denominational, student-led organization of both nursing and medical students from Vanderbilt and surrounding schools. Our mission is: Encouraging and equipping students in the health professions to follow Jesus Christ and participate in His healing work. All are welcome to attend our weekly or semi-annual gatherings.  Please contact Anna Richmond, Advisor at, or Melanie Morris at for more information.
  • Goals of MCF:
    • Offer opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship while in school and training with other health care students through bible study, opportunities to address difficult questions and engagement with church and other para church organizations.
    • Facilitate relationships with Christian health care providers in the community and at Vanderbilt for encouragement and learning opportunities.
    • Learn alongside Nashville community faith-based clinics, providers and students while doing service projects focusing on the refugee community.
    • Offer opportunities for faith-based medical/nursing missions trips to Nicaragua and other international opportunities
    • *Medical Christian Fellowship is an independent, third-party affinity group and is not a Registered Student Organization at Vanderbilt University. As such, Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing are not formally affiliated with Medical Christian Fellowship and are not responsible for its programming, leadership, or activities

Military/Veterans Student Nurses Affinity Group

  • The Military and Veteran Students Affinity Group (MVSAG) endeavors to provide resources and support to military and veteran students at VUSN. The group looks for opportunities for relationship building among military and veteran students through volunteer/service opportunities as well as informative meetings. The MVSAG also wants to bring attention to the unique needs of military and veteran students returning to civilian life.

Neurodiversity Student Nurses Advocacy Group

  • VUSN’s Neurodiversity Student Nurses Advocacy Group welcomes all students interested in promoting mental health awareness at VUSN and the Greater Nashville Community through education, advocacy, and outreach initiatives. We offer an inclusive space for all VUSN students. Whether personally impacted by mental health concerns or an ally—we invite your participation!  The purpose of VUSN’s Neurodiversity Student Nurses Advocacy Group is to deepen our understanding of the diverse lived experiences of folx experiencing mental health concerns and take actionable steps to break down stigmas associated with mental health differences at VUSN, in the Greater Nashville Community, and in our future careers as nurse practitioners.  

Vandy Village

  • Vandy Village focuses on C.A.R.E for student parents and/or caregivers.  Our goal is to Connect Vanderbilt students by compiling resources in one easily accessible area, Advise peers and provide mentorship, Relate to and build community through shared experiences, and Encourage each other to succeed. It takes a village, let's get it done... together

VUSNPride Student Affinity Group

  • VUSNPride provides support for LGBTQ+ students and allies at VUSN while promoting a welcoming and inclusive culture. We facilitate education of faculty and students on LGBTQ+ issues and promote inclusion of LGBTQ+ health content in the curriculum. In addition, VUSNPride serves the LGBTQ+ community in Nashville and participates in activities that support shared initiatives.

Please contact Dr. Michael Gooch if you would like more information.