May 25, 2021
College to hold Lavender Graduation;
Famed Authority on LGBT Matters to Deliver Keynote
Moreno Valley College will host its first Lavender Graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 1, at 6:30 pm.
The first Lavender Graduation was held at the University of Michigan in 1995. Created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, Ed.D., then the director of the Lesbian and Gay Programs Office at the University of Michigan. Today, Sanlo is Director Emeritus of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center and a leading authority on matters relating to LGBT students, faculty and staff in higher education. She will deliver the keynote speech at MVC's event.
Solano, who had been denied admittance to her children's commencement ceremonies because of her sexuality, realized there were no recognition ceremonies to honor the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
"LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff are an essential part of the diversity that is critical to Moreno Valley College," Christopher Sweeten, vice president of Student Services, said. "As a queer person of color, I realize that being out is a continuum, and some feel more comfortable than others. But the ability to be granted an opportunity to be seen in one's truth should be given without reservation or risk of persecution.
"The Lavender Graduation is symbolic of our student's present and future membership in a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community. We are offering a space for them to live their truth and our personnel to do the same as they celebrate their academic achievements. Providing an opportunity for visibility creates hope and a model for those who are still in the closet. By offering an opportunity to being visible, we educate the society which surrounds us. I am proud of the MVC staff, faculty, managers, and students who came together to establish our first Lavender Graduation."
Register to attend the event here.