AU Health’s DEI employee affinity groups support local youth community center

Hospital exterior
Written by Lisa Kaylor

The Women of Color in Leadership and Men of Color in Leadership Affinity Groups at AU Health are joining together to raise funds and awareness “for a purpose.”

The affinity groups, which were formed about a year ago under AU Health’s newly created Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will host Fun With a Purpose from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Purpose Center, 1650 Olive Road, in Augusta.

“We want to be able to be mentors and make an impact in the community,” said Dr. Kim Thompson, the leader of Women of Color in Leadership.

The Purpose Center is a newly-formed youth community center with programs aimed at giving kids a sense of purpose, as well as providing them with activities that will both engage them and help them serve their community.

“We went out during one of our meetings and toured the center and saw what they’re going to be doing,” Thompson said. “They have a kitchen and they’re going to be teaching kids how to cook. They have a garden and are going to use the food they planted. Someone donated a food truck, so they can give teenagers jobs over the counter. They’re going to learn to cook and then  sell healthy food.”

In addition, the center has a recording studio, where kids can learn everything about music from songwriting to performing to production. Additional programs are aimed at teaching kids about sex, addiction, suicide and providing positive mentorship for at-risk youth.

Fun With a Purpose will provide an opportunity to raise awareness for the center and to provide AU Health employees with an opportunity to become involved in community volunteerism. Entertainment will be provided by a local high school jazz band, DF7, and attendees will be invited to tour the center. Donations will be accepted at the event to help support the center.

“We thought this would be a great chance to raise awareness about our affinity groups and what we do, so that employees will know we exist and that they can join us, but also to raise awareness for the center,” Thompson said.

AU Health formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee in February 2021 to promote and support diversity within the health system. Employee affinity groups provide a safe space for employees to express interests, concerns and identities, as well as provide opportunities for networking and community service.

About the author

Lisa Kaylor

Lisa Kaylor is the Senior Communications and Media Coordinator for AU Health. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-5292 or