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27th Annual Black Graduation Ceremony & Kente Ceremony
Deadline: May 12, 2023
Registration is CLOSED
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: Sunday, June 4, 2023
Time: 7pm, doors open at 6:15pm
Location: Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, UW (3870 Montlake Blvd NE, Seattle, WA 98105)
Theme: Black is Culture
Tickets: This year’s event is not ticketed
Accessibility: The event will include American Sign Language Interpreters, Real Time Captioning and closed captioning options. If you have any issues during the event you can email us at email@example.com or comment in the Livestream, we will have committee members monitoring both.
Keynote Speaker: Jodi-Ann Burey (she/her)
Jodi-Ann Burey (she/her) is a sought-after speaker and writer who works at the intersections of race, culture, and health equity. Her TED talk, “The Myth of Bringing Your Full Authentic Self to Work,” embodies her disruption of traditional narratives about racism at work. Jodi-Ann is also the creator and host of Black Cancer, a podcast about the lives of people of color told through their cancer journeys.
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 2023 UW Black Graduation Ceremony is open to all UW Seattle undergraduate and graduate students who have earned their degree between Autumn ‘22, Winter ‘23, Spring ‘23 or are scheduled to earn their degree Summer ‘23.
Graduates must register by May 12, 2023 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.
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:
- UW Bothell – Black, Young, and Gifted – Contact The Black Student Union at firstname.lastname@example.org
- UW Tacoma – Hosts UMOJA Celebration yearly. Visit https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/equity/umoja-celebration for more information
Scenes from Black Graduation
Photos by Emile Pitre