Jon Carroll

SLIDE this way

SLIDE leadership holds annual training for leaders of 22 affinity groups

Student Leaders for Inclusion Diversity and Equity (SLIDE) leadership held its annual training for affinity group leaders of a combined 22 affinity groups from both the middle and upper school Sept. 10.
“It was great to bring affinity group members together from both campuses to discuss ways to make club meetings run more effectively,” Middle Eastern and North African Student Alliance (MENASA) adviser Joseph Makhluf said.
Students and faculty learned useful strategies for creating an identity-conscious affinity group space from guest speaker Liza Talusan, PhD, an educator and author of “The Identity Conscious Educator: Building habits and skills for a more inclusive school.”
Talusans aim is to give leaders the tools to create safer spaces and facilitate conversations about uncomfortable topics surrounding identity and race.
Talusan recognized the importance of understanding that everyone learns and communicates differently, and that in an affinity space it’s important to facilitate for everyone. While the actual training only lasted three hours, student leaders were also given an additional hour to rework their plans and curriculum for the rest of the school year, in conjunction with their upper school counterparts.
“I learned about new strategies to facilitate discussions in my affinity group and I feel that after implementing these tools, discussions run far more smoothly and are more productive,” Asian American Culture Club leader Maggie Koo 26.
This would mean reworking meetings in order to add in critical check ins as a warm up to meetings, and facilitating difficult conversations rather than attempting to teach every piece of information available about a specific minority group.

Learn more about each of the affinity groups below.

An Affinity for AACC

Annabelle Cheung, Reporter

The American Asian Culture Club meets every Tuesday in Hazy 230. There are five student leaders, Maggie Koo ’26, Mia Ushiba ’26, Dean Kim ’26, Kayla Graff ’26, and Noah Koo ’27, and three staff sponsors, Karen Fukushima, Catherine James, and Peter Cha, who overlook and plan each meeting. “Our main goal is to spread Asian American culture in the Harvard-Westlake community,” Koo said. Besides...

An Affinity for JCAAC

An affinity for Girls Club

Led by Ruby Jacobs ’26, Molly Block ’26, Sophie Fribourg ’26 and Raquel Reyes ’27, Girls Club is one of many affinity groups at the middle school. The goal of the affinity group is to help create equality for girls in any way that they can while also spreading awareness of different issues in the world.  The Girls Club has taken on many projects to make a difference in the school such as ...

An affinity for BLACC

BLACC, Black Leadership and Culture Club, dates back to the origins of Harvard-Westlake School. Since before the merger of Harvard and Westlake, students have gathered in celebration of Black identity. Although the purpose of the club has remained intact, it has progressed through the years, growing to a current middle school membership of 88 members. Students from all backgrounds are encouraged...

An affinity for GSA

Darya Ghassemieh, Reporter

GSA meets every Tuesday in Hazy 300

An affinity for SASA

Ellika LeSage, Reporter

SASA meets Wednesdays to share South Asian snacks and culture

An affinity for MENASA

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