Jun 4, 2019
As the school year begins to wind down we created a unique and very special episode for you. Captured by Sun Ezzell we bring you Mt. SAC’s Lavender Graduation.
Lavender Graduation is a special annual graduation ceremony that is conducted on numerous campuses, in which it recognizes and honors the accomplishments of graduating/transferring LGBTQ+ students. In our case we also highlight the contributions and successes of the Pride Center, Mt. SAC staff and student employees, and our allies across campus and in the community. This year the ceremony was lead by the Pride Center Director Melinda Bowen. Mt. SAC’s President and CEO Bill Scroggins also delivers a special message to the new graduates.
The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish Lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her own sexual orientation.
Why Lavender? It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBTQ civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.
The first Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates. Today, over 200 colleges and universities offer lavender graduation ceremonies for their students.
These events are so important because they provide a sense of community for minority students who often experience tremendous culture shock at their impersonalized institutions. For many students they are the payoff for staying in school. Here is a glimpse at Mt. SAC’s third annual Lavender Graduation.
Run Time: 29 min, 35 sec
To find the full transcript for this episode, click HERE