April is National Poetry Month and Sexual Violence Awareness Month

Take Back the Night
Tuesday, April 7
Happenings Room
University Center

Take Back the Night is an international recognition of violence. Unfortunately, sexual violence can come in many forms. Our program  confronts the issue of violence in our communities. We will have the opportunity to grieve for victims of violence, celebrate survivors of violence, and march towards a day when we can all feel safe and free.

Day of Silence Tabling
April 13-17
3rd Floor University Center
The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT. We will be tabling with black ribbons you can wear for the week and information about bullying and harassment.
Lavender Graduation
April 21
MI Rooms A-C

Join Us In Honoring Our Students!

What is Lavender Graduation?

Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University. The first Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation Ceremonies at Colleges and Universities nationwide. Graduating students, including undergraduates and graduates, are invited to take part in the celebration, which occurs each year the week prior to university-wide commencement events.

Details of This Year's Celebration

Our 2nd Annual Lavender Graduation Celebration will take place Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 6:00pm-8:00pm in the University Center Michigan Rooms. We invite you to attend to support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, asexual students and their straight allies. RSVP is required. RSVP can be made to Jen Salamone at jensalam@umflint.edu  If you are a graduating senior garduating in Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall of 2015 please register to participate at https://formassembly.umflint.edu/2842

Why a Lavender Graduation Celebration?

For decades students at colleges and universities around the country have been celebrating both their academic achievements and their cultural heritages at specialized commencement events. Many of these events are student-initiated and usually occur during the university-wide commencement weekend. These events provide a sense of community for minority students who often experience tremendous culture shock at their impersonalized institutions. For many students they are the payoff for staying in school, and friends and families find the smaller, more ethnic ceremonies both meaningful and personal. Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes LGBT students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the university as students who survived the college experience. Through such recognition LGBT students may leave the university with a positive last experience of the institution thereby encouraging them to become involved mentors for current students as well as financially contributing alumni. Lavender Graduation is an event to which LGBT students look forward, where they not only share their hopes and dreams with one another, but where they are officially recognized by the institution for their leadership and their successes and achievements.

The Significance of "Lavender"

Lavender is important to LGBT history. It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBT civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.