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A space to ‘feel seen’: Annual Spanish-Speaking Families Night promotes connection, highlights diversity within community

Photo credit: Talia Geffen
Hermanas Unidas Board members present to families at Archer’s annual Spanish-Speaking Families Night Tuesday, Nov. 28. Their presentation included campus news and information about the college application process, as well as resources for Spanish-speaking families at Archer.

Comunidad. Conexión. Diversidad. With these three values in mind, Archer’s annual Spanish-Speaking Families Night aimed to provide relevant information for Spanish-speaking parents, creating a space for Spanish-speaking community members to connect and highlight diversity within the community.

The event took place Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 6 – 7:30 p.m., in the library. A large component was a presentation by Hermanas Unidas Board members, which was in Spanish and included general campus updates, college application information, translation services and other resources for Spanish-speaking families at Archer.

According to Spanish teacher and Hermanas Unidas adviser Annie Santana-Grush, about 15-18 families attended, along with many students, faculty and administrators. She said students interviewed a few of the many Spanish-speaking faculty and staff members to showcase and celebrate the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries.

“It was just a great representation on all sides,” Santana said. “Our focus was about the diversity amongst us … We have students and faculty members from many different Spanish-speaking countries, and so we wanted to highlight that diversity and celebrate it, so it was really special in that way.” 

Hermanas Unidas Board member Julissa Espinoza (’24) said the presentation is similar each year and highlights information parents may not otherwise see. She added that she appreciates the connected environment the event facilitates.

“For me, what’s most important about it or something I really appreciate about it is just the representation for the parents because it’s hard enough for the Latinas here at Archer to say that there’s a lack of representation, but I feel like for the parents, there’s even more of a lack of representation,” Espinoza said. “I think having a space where they feel seen and they’re able to speak their native language and have a night to themselves — it’s nice.”

Marcy Ponce (’28) is also a member of Hermanas Unidas and said she was most looking forward to seeing other students and hearing what questions parents had at the event.

I’ve really liked how they how inclusive [Hermanas Unidas] is and how each of the events that they have are really, really thoughtful,” Ponce said.  

Santana and the other advisers helped students prepare for the presentation, which she highlighted as one of her favorite parts of the event, along with other opportunities for bonding, particularly towards the end of the night.

“I also very much love that they have the opportunity then go just the students together, sort of an affinity space in the evening where they can talk and bond, and the parents and faculty and staff are together where we can talk, share ideas and bond as well,” Santana said. “Those two pieces at the end I think are really important to help continue to build community and for people to get to know each other because it’s the one opportunity where we are together.” 

Prior to the event, Espinoza also said she was looking forward to connecting with other Latine students, as that’s one of the aspects she has enjoyed most about the event in past years.

“I’m excited to enjoy the presence that each family brings to the table because we’re so diverse,” Espinoza said. “I’ll see girls at Archer that I just have never seen or interacted with … We introduce ourselves, and we say what our favorite tradition is or what our favorite food from our culture is — stuff like that. It’s just nice meeting and learning about other girls here at Archer.” 

Similarly, Santana highlighted that many faculty and staff members speak Spanish and the value of that diversity within Archer’s Spanish-speaking community.

I think that is a beautiful thing that helps to — as Elizabeth [English] alluded to in her video that she sent — makes Archer a better, richer place,” Santana said. “This year, there were so many people that came from faculty and staff that spoke Spanish and some who didn’t, and it just shows that they value the community, and that’s a beautiful thing.”  

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About the Contributor
Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief
Audrey Chang joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became the News Editor in 2022. In 2023, she became the Editor-in-Chief. She plays on the Archer varsity tennis team, is a member of the Ambassador Leadership Team Advisory Board and runs the For Goodness Cakes Club. In her free time, you can find her baking, surfing and playing with her four dogs.

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