Each year, we look forward to celebrating the many achievements of our CEP graduates during an intimate ceremony with their families and friends. This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, we continued this time-honored tradition through a virtual event held on the evening of Friday, June 12th.
Our event featured a host of inspirational speakers who spoke to the times:
- Master of Ceremonies: Michael Monroe (CEP ’19)
- Welcome Address: Dean Renee Cheng
- Keynote Address: Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna
- Student Speaker: Steffan Ortega (CEP ’20)
- Student Speaker: Helen Ganahl (CEP ’20)
“We are all standing at the confluence of these great tragedies, however, it is critically important to recognize that while COVID-19 is a dangerous new virus and the corresponding job losses are fresh in our minds, the targeted killings of Black people is not a new phenomenon but part of a much larger system of structural racism present in this country since it’s founding.
This is the context the Class of 2020 is graduating into. In the face of violence, hate, and loss, today we have something to celebrate. Something unquestionably hopeful – the graduation of these 35 students. These young people leaving university with an unshakeable sense of what equitable justice means. A foundational understanding of the power of community and intentional inclusion. Graduates that for two years have learned to find their voices while also daily practicing listening.” Michael Monroe (CEP ’19)
We hope that their powerful speeches inspired our graduates as they take their place among a global community of passionate change agents. The speeches were followed by personalized student introductions and a slideshow looking back at their past two years in CEP.