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JCU's Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion celebrates graduating seniors' contributions to the program during its annual awards ceremony. Students were honored last week during the 10th Annual Multicultural Recognition Program. The program recognizes students of historically underrepresented communities who have been involved with CSDI, in student cultural organizations, MELT, and other leadership positions at JCU within their four academic years. 


The multicultural recognition program highlighted students' various achievements and contributions to the CSDI program. Seniors who will be the first in their families to earn a college degree received the first-generation cord in the colors of teal and black. These are the nationally recognized colors of first-generation college graduates. 


CSDI awarded graduating seniors active in department programs with Kente Cloth graduation stoles. The donning of the Kente Cloth is a cultural rite of passage celebrated by colleges and universities since the 1960s. The Kente Cloth originates from the Ashanti culture in Ghana, representing the culture's history, philosophy, ethics, values, and diverse religious beliefs.   



For the first time in the history of the Multicultural Recognition Program, CSDI recognized graduates who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. Those graduates will wear a lavender cord during JCU's commencement ceremony. The cord's color represents the mixing of gender normative colors such as pink and blue. ​​Combining the colors blurs the lines between masculine and feminine, challenging societal gender norms. Lavender first became associated with the LGBTQIA+ community in the 1950s and continues to illustrate the community's ideals and principles.


Angela Aviquivil ‘19, assistant director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, says the annual recognition ceremony is sentimental for all involved. "The Annual Multicultural Recognition Program is a time for CSDI and the campus community to celebrate the accomplishments of our students,” she says. “It's a bittersweet send-off thinking of how they've impacted the campus and how they'll make an even bigger impact in their next step in life. The best part of our jobs is seeing how much they've grown into their most authentic selves over their years.”  

The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion offers several programs and events each year, for more information, click here.