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Students of color honored at Intercultural Graduation

Published on April 24, 2024

Students of color honored at Intercultural Graduation

Students of color gathered in the Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University on April 18 to celebrate Intercultural Graduation. Organized by the Intercultural Center, the event recognized the efforts of BIPOC students, who often face systemic barriers before, during and after college.

During the ceremony, graduates were given graduation sashes and tassels to show pride in their backgrounds when walking across the commencement stage. The students were also presented with certificates. This year 55 graduates were recognized. 

Graduates of color honored at Intercultural Graduation

“It is important to celebrate graduates and their identities because it is a significant milestone in a person's life,” said Joshua Sumrell, coordinator of the Intercultural Center. “Due to systemic inequalities, it may be harder for individuals to achieve this accomplishment, so having an event to recognize those students is important for their confidence and empowerment.” 

The Center for American Progress states that students of color, particularly Black and Hispanic students, are less likely to graduate from a college or a university compared to their white counterparts. Each student’s degree is a testament to their resilience and hard work. 

"Our motto this year has been, ‘You belong, you matter,’ and we want to emphasize that we appreciate your hard work and dedication,” Sumrell said to the honorees. “I think it adds to the experience of being in college and hopefully creates inspiration to others as they navigate their college careers and beyond.” 

Written by Marcus Grant