The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host the third Celebration of Success ceremony for multicultural graduates at 6:30 p.m. May 3 in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom.
There will be 31 students participating in the ceremony. DEI invited all graduating seniors who identify as underrepresented students to attend.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Justin Mallett said the Celebration of Success has grown since he brought it to campus spring 2018.
“It started small and it’s slowly getting bigger and bigger,” Mallett said. “If everybody shows up with their family members, we’ll have over 100 people in the room. From where we started to where we are now, there has been a very significant amount of growth.”
During the ceremony, the graduates will receive Kente Stoles to wear during commencement.
Mallett said the ceremony lets unrepresented students know that they’re appreciated and they should be proud of their work.
“It allows our underrepresented students to take pride in something,” Mallet said. “The Kente Stole is a symbol of achievement; it’s a symbol of making it through and preserving and graduating from college.”
Mallet said the event is important because underrepresented students should be uniquely recognized.
“I feel like this event isn’t something we could’ve done, it’s something that we must do,” Mallett said. “We want the students to realize that we understand what you went through to graduate, and we want to applaud you for the work that you’ve done over the course of the last four or five years.”
Senior Khristian Nivens said the Celebration of Success shows minority students they’re appreciated.
“I like the idea simply because this is the way for minority students to be thought of for all their accomplishments,” Nivens said. “It’s a time where they can be acknowledged for graduating because it’s hard for students to graduate.”
Senior Jordyn Wood is a first-generation college student and said the ceremony is a good way to show minority students they have something to be proud of.
“It’s a good opportunity to give students the chance to celebrate the work that they’ve put in while being in school for the last few years,” Wood said. “I’m excited to participate and be honored at the celebration. I hope that students in the future can also have this opportunity to showcase to their family, friends and faculty their accomplishments.”
Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Adam Gonzales said the impact of the Celebration of Success also aids in being mindful of cultural differences.
“It honors students who may face challenges on campus like Northwest that other students might not,” Gonzales said. “What we want to do is always be mindful of cultural differences, where people come from (and) certain life circumstances that they have that others might not. We want be able to set aside time to highlight their significant achievements during their time here at Northwest.”
Northwest Alumnus Kaba Abdullah is the keynote speaker during the ceremony. There will also be a dinner provided.