Student-led affinity groups including the Latin American Student Organization; Black Leadership, Awareness and Culture Club; Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club and La Femme hosted a multicultural brunch to foster student and faculty unity Jan. 30 at the Feldman Gallery.
“This is just about coming together,” Upper School Dean and event co-organizer Celso Cardenas said. “There could be times when individuals feel disenfranchised or as though they may not be fully integrated into the community, so we wanted to have a safe space where we’re able to share good food, good conversation and have a nice little break from the day. “
Originally, the brunch was supposed to be Latino specific and run by LASO, but given recent political events, the organizers decided to shift its focus to unity between all of the student affinity groups, Cardenas said.
“It’s important now, especially given the political climate where there is such a rhetoric of division and a rhetoric of exclusion,” La Femme member Liz Yount ’17 said. “We need to make sure that as a community we have events where we can all come together, celebrate each other’s cultures and take part in something that’s greater than what we may hear in the political world.”
Students and faculty brought food, ranging from Vero Mango lollipops to Flaming Hot Cheetos, representing their own individual cultures to share in a community potluck.
“I’m both Hispanic and black, so I came to represent my culture,” BLACC member Nya Beckham ’19 said. “It’s really important to support something that you’re a part of and it’s really fun to get all the minorities together.”
Students felt the event achieved its goal of establishing unity among the school community, La Femme leader Carmen Levine ’17 said.
The affinity groups plan to host another event soon.
“The purpose of the unity brunch was to bring the affinity groups together in an unconventional way,” Levine said. “The success of the brunch completely exceeded my expectations. It was really uplifting to see so many people and such a variety of food. It’s definitely an event we hope to do in the future.”
Attendees appreciated the effort to bring minority groups together, Nicole Bahar ’18 said.
“I support all of the affinity groups because I think it’s really important to raise awareness for every race, religion and color,” Bahar said. “I thought it would be a fun way to talk to people from different clubs and see what they have to say about current issues.”