Embracing Community

Embracing Community

Marlborough’s affinity groups have expanded over the past several years, with the student leaders striving to increase visibility and foster a sense of community among students, families, staculty members. One of the ways this is accomplished is through community events hosted by each group. To kick-off the school year, four groups hosted events to welcome folks back to school and welcome new students to the Marlborough community.

On September 9, Organized Latinx Exchange (OLÉ) hosted their “most well attended OLÉ Family Fiesta to date,” according to Andréa Fuentes, one of the faculty advisors and World Languages Department Head. This event marked OLÉ’s first opportunity to welcome new families who identify as Latinx to the Marlborough community and reconnect with current ones. “Our Family Fiesta is truly a celebration,” says Rita W. ’27, OLÉ’s Communications Representative. “All the Latinx families at Marlborough come together to eat amazing food, play a few rounds of loteria, and celebrate our culture.” In addition to the great food and fun, this event also provides a space for all members of the Marlborough community who identify as Latinx to come together. Ms. Fuentes notes how special that feels: “I really enjoy welcoming our OLÉ alumnae back to campus and seeing my fellow staculty attend with their families. Both are a true testament to the important connections that are created in this group and why events like this are so meaningful.”

Across campus in Smidt Family Plaza, African American Cultural Exchange (AACE) celebrated their annual family picnic with a game-day themed event. Students, their families, and members of the staculty who identify as Black and African American gathered, sporting jerseys from various sports teams and players. The event exuded a sense of community and joy, featuring delicious food, lively music, and a group watching one of Coco Gauff’s US Open matches. Maniya A.B. ’26, AACE’s Vice President, reflected on how special it was to plan this event with her peers on AACE’s leadership council. “One of my favorite things about the day,” she shares, “was when everyone in attendance played our version of Family Feud answering African American pop culture trivia questions. People got really into it and we had a lot of fun.”

On Sunday, September 10, Kehilah—Marlborough’s affinity group for students who identify as members of the Jewish community—gathered over mountains of bagels and trays of lox for their second annual Bagel Brunch. In just its second year, the event saw significant growth, with many Jewish families, students, and staculty members gathering to mark the beginning of the school year in the Center for Entrepreneurship. Kehilah’s Middle School Representative Chloe S. ’27 reflects, “My personal highlights from the brunch were meeting new students and talking with my peers about Kehilah’s for the year ahead.” Sarah S. ’28, Events Coordinator for Kehilah, was similarly pleased by the forward-looking discussions about the group’s future initiatives. She also cherishes the opportunity to be part of a tight-knit community. “Hearing a ton of different interpretations on what it means to be Jewish and how different people celebrate holidays showed us all exactly why coming together in Kehilah is really important.”

Later in September, members of Exploring Asian Societies Together (EAST) arrived on campus, arms laden with food for their Golden Potluck. This event allowed students, their families, and staculty members who identify as Asian to share their family recipes, traditions, and cultures. “I enjoy seeing families come together in community,” shares Angela Lin, one of EAST’s faculty advisors, 8th Grade Dean, and Choral Director. “It was heartwarming to see so many parents and friends gather in one space over a shared meal of all our different Asian cultures. A true potluck in the best way!” In addition to the amazing food, students organized games of human bingo, handed out decorative buttons, and designed a photo frame for capturing memorable moments. Ms. Lin reflected on her pride at the ways in which student leaders worked together to bring the event to life. One of those leaders is Theo K. ’27, EAST’s Co-Middle School Representative. Theo says, “The games we played were really fun and I could not believe how much food everyone brought. I am so grateful for the support from our parents and the entire community, especially their help cleaning up after all the fun!”

In the coming months, many of the remaining affinity groups will join in the festivities, further building community with each other as the school year progresses. 

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