Something you might have missed at club fair was the new affinity groups we have on campus—places for students with common backgrounds to meet and discuss issues that are important to them and their identity. According to Director of Diversity, Culture and Belonging, Peter Gloyd, affinity groups were created because “it’s important to have spaces for students, especially students from underserved groups, to have [places] to share experiences, network, and even have an activist role.” There are currently five affinity groups at Albuquerque Academy: Fuerza/the Hispanic Student Association, led by Mireya Macias ‘23 and Jayraina Montoya ‘23, the Black Student Union, the South Asian Affinity Group, led by Noor Ali ‘23, the East/Southeast Asian Student Association run by Sophia Liem ‘23, and the Native American Affinity Group with Zola Ortiz ‘23 and Jenny Blackwell ‘23 in charge.
Each group is slowly getting underway for the year. Montoya from Fuerza says, “We’re working on the display in the library for National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s called the Cuentos [Stories] Project, and everyone is writing their stories of origin – how their families came to be in the States.”
Liem says that her group just wrapped up making origami cranes “and having a discussion about the significance of our names. In the future, we plan on talking about Asian pop culture, having fun food excursions, and having discussions about our experience with race. People should join if they want to bond with others that are similar to them or learn about the diversity of culture in east or southeast Asia.”
Ortiz from the Native American Affinity Group says, “We are currently working on a movie night for the school where we would broadcast a film directed by a Native person and starring Native actors. We think that this would be a great way for people at Academy to hear Native voices. Additionally, we are working on a trip within our affinity group to travel to [the] Gathering of Nations next semester. In the future, we are hoping to see more native representation on campus. Additionally, we are working towards examining the Academy’s curriculum as it pertains to indigenous people so that it is not harming Native communities and possibly including stories by them or information that recognizes Native culture and contributions.”
Ali, running the South Asian Affinity Group, says, “I feel like a lot of the time Asia as a continent is grouped together as something that is homogeneous. We deserve a space where we can talk about things exclusively related to our experiences.
The Black Student Union was unable to be contacted for comment.
If you’d like to join an affinity group, reach out to Mr. Gloyd or a group leader.