Courtesy of PanAfrican Collegiate
Since 1972, CSUN’s Black Graduation has always taken place on the Oviatt Lawn to celebrate students’ accomplishments; this year’s event, however, will be different. CSUN students, among students from other California colleges, will be participating in a virtual statewide Pan-African graduation ceremony on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, at 6 p.m.
Organized by The Pan-African Collegiate Collective of California, an alliance of 20 California schools — including Cal State Los Angeles, University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles — the event will provide an opportunity for students to come together to celebrate their successes via Zoom.
Ryan Mason, a Black Graduation advisor and CSUN academic counselor, explains why Black Graduation was important to continue despite not being able to celebrate on campus.
“The Black Graduation gives a space for students to celebrate accomplishments and acknowledge their triumphs over the barriers of pursuing higher education in the U.S.,” Mason said. “I’m glad we have this partnership. It’s creating an opportunity for our students to get the recognition they deserve. ”
Brittany Swinson, another Black Graduation advisor and CSUN alumni, added how proud she was of the students and hopes the event will have a lasting impression.
“(The event) gives graduates a sense of gratitude in completing this major educational accomplishment,” Swinson said.
Swinson said it’s an opportunity to celebrate students’ resilience.
“Over the years, students of color have had to surpass multiple barriers to achieve their education,” Swinson said. “Although we couldn’t celebrate this year in person, having an event at this magnitude could provide some solace to our students.”
The event has been financially sponsored by the University Student Union and Associated Students, as well as other campuses and companies. It will include special guests such as Saweetie, DJ Mustard, Ella Mai and Meagan Good. Mason added that additional surprises for students will be revealed during the event.
Students had to RSVP for the event by Monday night. Follow CSUN’s Black Graduation or Pan African Collegiate on social media for more information on the event.