Marist AAPI Affinity Group Shares Lunar New Year Traditions

Newly established this school year, the Marist School AAPI Affinity Group is a vibrant hub, fostering connections among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students. The group has quickly become an integral part of campus life, serving as a space where students delve into their shared experiences, traditions, and values while strengthening bonds and celebrating diversity. Recently, the group members and moderators marked the Lunar New Year, a significant holiday in many Asian cultures.
The Lunar New Year brings families together to usher in good luck, prosperity, and happiness for the upcoming year. To honor this tradition, the Marist AAPI Affinity Group organized its inaugural Lunar New Year Potluck on February 9.
A vivid tapestry of flavors adorned the tables as Marist AAPI students, faculty, and families showcased traditional dishes from their respective heritages. The festivities also included various hands-on activities, such as letter writing, origami, and crafting paper lanterns. These shared moments of creativity and expression underscored the unity within the AAPI community at Marist. The event culminated in a heartwarming shared meal, epitomizing the spirit of togetherness and cultural pride that defines the AAPI Affinity Group at Marist.
In partnership with the group’s student officers, the event was organized and attended by moderator Ms. Isabella Tsui, along with faculty Ms. Diane Tran, Mrs. Carol Rivera, and Mr. Raj Jose, who attended with his daughters Becca ’25 and Bella ’29. “Attending the Lunar New Year Event for AAPI was a remarkable experience,” Becca said. “It was wonderful to be part of a community that embraced inclusivity, where we could all share our diverse ethnic cultures and engage in activities that brought us closer together.”
The coordinators orchestrated the celebration with the aim of forging connections within the Marist AAPI community and marking the beginning of the year of the dragon. “The AAPI Affinity Group wanted an opportunity to learn about each other’s Lunar New Year traditions,” said Ms. Tsui, who is also the 11th Grade Personal & Academic Counselor. “The potluck was a great way for students, parents, and faculty members to meet, connect, and gather around delicious food.”
On February 13, the celebrations continued with AAPI Co-Presidents Andrew Albright ’24 and Paris Dinh ’24, alongside VP of Records Alexander Lee ’24, leading the Early Learning Center (ELC) Pre-kindergarten students and Marist dance class in a traditional lion dance. During the event, the AAPI Affinity Group representatives shared insights into their families’ Lunar New Year traditions and provided an overview of the lion dance. Mrs. Jillian Bauersfeld, the dance teacher, guided the class while Pre-K students adorned themselves with specially made lion heads. Activities like the lion dance serve as energetic expressions of Lunar New Year traditions, promoting cultural identity and heritage preservation.
Albright regards the Lunar New Year events as yet another accomplishment for the AAPI Affinity Group, amidst a packed calendar of accomplishments. “The AAPI Affinity Group started its inaugural year strong with activities honoring Hindu Heritage Month and meaningful discussions about our shared experiences growing up as Asian-Americans, particularly at Marist,” Albright shared. “Later on, our officers led a mental health meditation event and tables at Share the Journey’s Global Culture Fair. More recently, we held the Lunar New Year Potluck to celebrate the holiday with the families of group members, growing our community beyond the limits of the school day.”
As Albright reflects on the success of the Lunar New Year events, he underscores the AAPI Affinity Group's broader mission of building a supportive community for Asian-American students at Marist. He emphasizes the group's commitment to expanding its offerings beyond celebratory events, with plans to host speakers and collaborate on enriching workshops in the near future, saying, “Through this affinity group, we have been working to create the community that many AAPI students at our school have missed out on in the past. In the coming months, we hope to host notable speakers from the local Asian-American community and a dance workshop in collaboration with one of Emory University’s performance teams.”
The success of the AAPI Affinity Group at Marist exemplifies the power of student leadership in nurturing a sense of belonging and inclusion on campus. As the group looks towards the future, its commitment to cultural awareness, pride, and acceptance underscores a dedication to creating an environment where all students feel valued and supported.

View photos from the Lunar New Year Potluck.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers