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Peralta Celebrates LGBTQIA+ Graduates with Lavender Graduation

2024 Lavender Graduation Group Photo

On Wednesday, May 15th, our special graduation cohort ceremonies continued at Berkeley City College for our second-ever District-wide Lavender Graduation ceremony, this year hosted by the Berkeley City College LGBTQIA+ Club.

BCC’s Club Vice President, Kei Napoli Dorantes (they/them) gave a heartfelt address. They said, “Lavender Graduation, or celebration, is a symbol of inclusivity, a beacon of hope, and a testament to the progress we have made toward equality. As we look around this room, we see a vibrant tapestry of faces, each representing a different color, gender, sexual orientation, and background. Yet, we are united in our shared journey, collective experiences, and commitment to a more inclusive and promising future.”

Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson reflects on attending the event. "It was such an honor to celebrate graduation with them. Thanks to Board of Trustees Vice President Louis Quindlen for joining me there and showing your support. It was a fun party featuring Karaoke. Several administrators joined me in singing “Love Shack” by the B-52s to kick off the celebration and trust me, it got way better when the students started singing!"

2024 Lavender Graduation Karaoke

Photos from the event are posted on SmugMug here: https://peraltacolleges.smugmug.com/2024-PCCD-Graduations/Lavender-Graduation-BCC-May-15-2024

Kei Napoli Dorantes eloquently concluded here speech with these sentiments -- thank you for sharing with the Peralta Colleges community!


"As you move forward, I hope you all embrace your authenticity, identity, and truth. Be bold, be fearless, and be unapologetically yourself. Remember, self-care and mental health are crucial in our journey. Take time to recharge, seek support when needed, and always prioritize your well-being.

"Today, we celebrate your achievements and the promise of a brighter, more inclusive future. A future where love triumphs over hate, where diversity is celebrated, and where every individual is free to live their truth without fear or discrimination. As you face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, remember that you are not alone. Your community (family, friends, partners, pets) stands with you, ready to support and uplift you. Your unique perspectives and experiences will shape the world, and we are excited to see what you will accomplish. Congratulations, graduates, and may your future be as bright and beautiful as you are.

"Thank you again to all the family, friends, and faculty who are here to support our LGBTQIA+ graduates. Your understanding, acceptance, and role as our allies have been instrumental in our journey. Please enjoy the food and festivities."

Thank you to John Nguyen and the Berkeley City College team for hosting such a fun event!


Tags: Graduation, LGBTQIA


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