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Day of Belonging

By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Cultivating inclusivity and community strength across all divisions.
LJCDS continues to embrace and expand the concept of dignity. On October 11, 2023, all divisions observed the inaugural Day of Belonging with an affinity group showcase and discussions focused on equipping students with tools to ensure everyone feels valued and included. Creating spaces of belonging is fundamental to fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect, ultimately strengthening the school community.

During Lower School morning meetings, students explored the concept of belonging and ways to foster inclusion. When asked what belonging means, students drew pictures or provided examples such as being part of a family, the LJCDS community, sports teams and various cultures. Responses on how to make others feel like they belong included inviting classmates to join their group, asking for opinions, and simply smiling. Fourth graders encouraged each other with phrases like, “You matter,” “People love you,” and “You can do it.” 
In Grades 5–12, students celebrated during an extended lunch period with an affinity group showcase on Torrey Walk featuring a DJ, face painting and henna tattoos by Maya Krishnan ’24. Affinity group members shared upcoming events, initiatives, and projects, with some tables offering stickers, bookmarks and traditional food samples. 
“Realizing how many identities we have on campus and all the spaces we can be a part of was amazing and left me wanting more.” -Sofia Montano ’26

“A great way to experience other cultures.” -Sebastian Rock ’27
Affinity groups are communities of students based on shared characteristics, interests, identities or experiences. They provide supportive spaces for connection, learning and growth. These groups encourage inclusivity, friendships, education and advocacy.

Middle School affinity groups include the Black Student Union, Chinese Heritage, Outside the Box (multiracial students) and Prism. Upper School students can join the following affinity groups:
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander
  • Black Student Union
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Jewish
  • Korean
  • Latin American
  • Mental Health
  • Persian/Iranian
  • Spectrum
Students are encouraged to form a group if one does not exist that they feel represents their identity.
Upper School students discussed the concept of affinity spaces’ importance in learning and community-building. Each advisory participated in an activity prompting them to consider how they see themselves and how others see them by naming five aspects of their identity that are most important to them now. Answers included gender, gender identity, race, religion, family role or structure, political views, learning style, language and neighborhood.
Director of Community, Culture and Belonging Tiffany Thompson shared, “The Day of Belonging was designed to foster a sense of community, celebrate the diversity that contributes to the vibrancy of our school, and provide a platform for our affinity groups to shine.”

“I appreciated being able to relate to my culture, and it made me feel like I belong here at LJCDS.” -Ella Hong ’26

“It was a great way to share my culture and history with classmates.” -Jameel McDaniel ’24

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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