Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Black Graduation Ceremony

25th Annual Black Graduation Ceremony & Kente Ceremony

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Deadline: May 9, 2021

Note: Registering for the Black Graduation and Kente Ceremony does not register you for any other graduation celebration including the UW commencement ceremony, and visa versa.

Date: Friday, June 18, 2021
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: YouTube Live Stream:


Accessibility: The event will include American Sign Language Interpreters, Real Time Captioners and closed captioning options. If you have any issues during the event you can email us at or comment in the Livestream, we will have committee members monitoring both.

Stole Party Save the Date

Join us on May 22nd for a Stole Party! We’ll have swag, a picture booth, and Kente stoles for graduation. This will be a drive through event to promote staying safe and healthy. The only section of the event that will be outside of your vehicle will be at the end, when you can take a picture with a UW Black Grad backdrop. Come dressed up in your Black Royalty attire or regalia, so you can take a photo with the Black Grad backdrop!

When: May 22nd from 11am to 6pm

Where: UW Parking Lot E18. Just north of the IMA.

How: Register for Black Graduation by May 9th to be eligible for a stole

About the Black Graduation Ceremony

The Black Graduation Ceremony is a pre-commencement celebration to honor African and African American students who through unyielding determination have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from the University of Washington. The Ceremony is representative of African and African American culture and heritage, embraces the value of community and scholarship, and culminates with a Kente Stole presentation. This is a Celebration for Graduates to be recognized for their accomplishments and provided an opportunity to honor significant people who have helped them achieve their goal. Students are honored together in one setting and their families also get the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and dedication.

Participation in the 2020 UW Black Graduation Ceremony is open to all UW Seattle undergraduate and graduate students who have earned their degree between Autumn ‘20, Winter ‘21, Spring ‘21 or are scheduled to earn their degree Summer ‘21.

Graduates must register by May 9, 2021 to be listed in the program and receive a recognition gift.

The Kente Ceremony

Kente is native to Ghana and was developed in the 17th century by the Ashanti people. It has its roots in a long tradition of African weaving, dating back to about 3000 B.C. Often reserved for royalty, the stole is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, religious beliefs, social values and political thoughts.

During the Ceremony each graduate will be gifted with a Kente stole (to be presented by a significant person or people in their lives, when the ceremony is in person).

UW Bothell & UW Tacoma Events

The UW Seattle Black Graduation Ceremony is sponsored and supported by the volunteers and Clubs, Organizations, and Departments at UW Seattle. The ceremony is open to UW Seattle Graduates. The following ceremonies are taking place on the following campuses:

Scenes from 2018 Black Graduation

Photos by Emile Pitre

*Due to budget constraints and a minimal number of on-campus venues to accommodate our graduates, their families and the campus community, churches within the surrounding area have been our best alternative option. The Black Graduation Committee is currently considering other viable options to return this celebration to the UW Seattle campus.