By Eghosasere ’22
Harvard-Westlake Affinity groups are great places to go in order to find a community, a place to feel safe, and make new friends. When I started at Harvard-Westlake as a new ninth grader, joining Black Leadership and Culture Club (BLACC) helped me navigate this new environment successfully. I was able to gain support from the faculty and have a safe space to ask questions and learn more about our community from a Black student perspective.
As a twelfth grader, I have made so many connections with faculty and other students because of BLACC. Affinity groups are also great places to learn about other cultures and interact with others, especially students of color who often feel unrepresented. One of my favorite activities this year has been going to Latin American/Hispanic Student Organization (LAHSO), which is the Latino and Hispanic affinity group at Harvard-Westlake. These spaces also provide spaces for individuals and leaders to further the DEI work on the Harvard-Westlake campus, as well as have courageous conversations about race, religion, sexuality, gender, and culture. These are also spaces for students to come together with their communities to celebrate different cultural events and holidays. For instance, last year, even though we were on Zoom, ASiA (Asian Students in Action) had an incredible short film to show the entire school during Community Flex Time explaining the cultural significance and traditions of the holiday, across all of Asia.
Harvard-Westlake affinity groups are also great places to share your thoughts and process current events that might affect you negatively or positively. For example, last year during the pandemic and BLM protests, ASiA and BLACC hosted virtual spaces and events for all students to process their reality, their feelings, and feel safe again. It was amazing to see how our community came together as a whole to learn more and support each other. The community that Affinity groups provide are one of the greatest parts of Harvard-Westlake.