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Lavender Graduation

Each year the LGBTQ Center partners with the Sexuality Studies program and the Provost Committee for LGBTQ Life to host Lavender Graduation. This commencement ceremony honors graduating LGBTIQA+ and allied students. It is a cultural celebration that acknowledges the achievements and contributions that students of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions have made at Carolina. Recipients of the LGBTIQA+ Advocacy Awards are also announced during the ceremony.

“Lavender Graduation has been held annually since 2006,"says Terri Phoenix, director of the LGBTQ Center. "Similar to other departmental graduation ceremonies, this event provides a smaller, more personal celebration and a recognition specifically for contributions and accomplishments not otherwise celebrated at the university wide graduation ceremony.”

“We usually have had 20 to 40 undergraduate, graduate, and professional graduates participate in the ceremony with anywhere from 80 to 120 people attending the event. Some participants are unable to be publicly "out" about their identities as or allyship with LGBTIQA+ communities because of varying levels of stigma in their families, social circles, workplaces, religious communities, and/or geographical location. Part of our work is to mitigate and end this barrier so that people of every sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression can participate fully in their communities and societies without discrimination.”

The program is free and open to any undergraduate, graduate, or professional student or doctoral candidate approved to graduate in the Fall or Spring Semester of that academic year. This year, the ceremony will be held Saturday, May 9 via Zoom.

For more information about the program including how to support it please contact Dr. Terri Phoenix, Director of the LGBTQ Center.

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