Black Harvard Graduates Hold 1st Separate Commencement

The inaugural Harvard Black Commencement was held on the university's Holmes Field on Tuesday.

According to the school, the ceremony is the first ever ceremony that honors "graduating students who identify with the African diaspora."

The ceremony was organized by the Harvard Black Commencement Planning Committee.

More than 700 students and guests registered for the event, which took place two days before the university-wide graduation. The organizers say the event isn't meant to replace the main ceremony but to add "something that was missing."

"The truest form of inclusion is when people feel safe to celebrate their identities," Courtney Woods, organizer of Black Graduate Student Alliance. "I think this celebration was an affirmation for a lot of people."

The event featured four student speakers who discussed the issues they have faced while attending the university.

"We’re all pretty happy and grateful to have this opportunity and a lot of people have worked very hard to get here," said graduate Tsiy Tsegaye.

Other universities such as Stanford University, Marshall University, and the University of Washington have also added graduation events for students of different ethnic backgrounds in recent years.

The event was open for anyone to attend.

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