SLIDE organizes Multicultural Fair


Davis Marks/Chronicle

Asian Students in Action (ASiA) members hand attendees cultural foods and baked goods.

Davis Marks

Members of Student Leaders for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (SLIDE) hosted Multicultural Fair on the Quad during Community Flex Time on Thursday. Students had the opportunity to learn, try food and listen to music at booths run by student leaders of the Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club (BLACC), Latin American and Hispanic Student Organization (LAHSO), South Asian Student Alliance (SASA), Middle Eastern Student Association (MESA), Asian Students in Action (ASiA), Jewish Club and Babel.

Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Janine Jones said she feels the student-organized Multicultural Fair is important, as it allows students to learn about and celebrate other cultures.

“[The Multicultural Fair] was the brainchild of one of our ASiA leaders in 2018, [who] saw the need for there to be a community-wide recognition and celebration of our various cultures present on campus,” Jones said. “We wanted to make the event festive and fun with music, dancing, food and activities, while giving the entire community a glimpse into myriad cultures. I believe that we are all better citizens of the world when we have not only a sense for but also an appreciation for people who are different from us because different is not deficient.”

In order to motivate students to visit all the booths, SLIDE hosted a raffle in which students could receive “passport stamps” by visiting different booths. Students who received four stamps were able to enter the raffle and win prizes.

LAHSO member Omar Rivera ’24, who helped run the group’s booth, said he feels the Multicultural Fair is an opportunity for students to be exposed to cultures, food and activities they otherwise would not be.

“I think that the Multicultural Fair is a shared experience for all Harvard-Westlake students to exhibit a bit of every culture on campus that they may have not otherwise been exposed to,” Rivera said. “I believe the fair opens the opportunity for everyone to immerse themselves in the culture and try out food and activities that they might really enjoy.”

The Multicultural Fair also featured a performance by Dance Teacher Queala Clancy’s students next to Mudd Library. The piece, choreographed by students, was created to reflect on and celebrate cultures at the school and students’ personal experiences.

Sophomore Prefect Glory Ho ’24 said Asian culture is often misunderstood, and she has felt unable to share Asian culture and food with peers in the past, so she enjoyed having the opportunity to do so at the Multicultural Fair.

“I think it was really important for ASiA to be at the Multicultural Fair because I think Asian culture can very easily be swept aside as just anime or K-pop in the mainstream media when it’s so much more,” Ho said. “It was really special to see people appreciate different foods that I grew up eating, especially because a really common experience for many Asian Americans is never getting to share your food with your friends when you’re younger. We also had a fundraiser for the Asian Mental Health Collective, and it was really moving to see people support our community during [Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage] month at the fair.”