Lavender Celebration

Lavender Celebration



Lavender Celebration is a commencement ceremony honoring graduating LGBTQ+ and allied students. It is a cultural celebration that acknowledges the achievements and contributions that students of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions have made at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

How to Participate

There is no cost to participate in or attend Lavender Celebration.

All graduating participants must register using the Lavender Celebration Form below: TBA

Eligibility Requirements

Participants must be one of the following at John Jay College:

  • Undergraduate student
  • Graduate student
  • Professional student
  • Doctoral candidate


Participants must be approved to graduate in the most recent Fall semester or the current Spring semester. 

2023 Lavender Celebration Details

Date: May 2023
Time: 1:40 pm – 2:40 pm (Community Hour)
Location: Pending

Keynote speaker


Lavender Celebration Cords

The Lavender Celebration cord is meant to give special honors to those students who have exemplified a quiet determination as they have achieved their scholarly goals, and much more. The cords are for participants and are FREE. The cords will be distributed during the event.

Audre Lorde Award

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center is happy to continue the tradition of hosting the Annual Lavender Celebration. During this year’s 6th Annual Lavender Celebration we will continue the tradition by honoring one student and one faculty/staff member in our community with the Audre Lorde Award for Social Justice. Click on the link below to nominate someone you think is deserving of this honor.

Accepting nominations Spring 2023 Semester


1.     How did Lavender Graduation start?

a.     Now tradition at more than 200 colleges and universities across the country, Lavender Graduation began in 1995 at the university of Michigan. Ronni Sanlo, then the Director of the LGBT Campus Resource Center, organized the first Lavender Graduation with three graduates. She initiated Lavender Graduation after being denied access to attend her own children's graduations due to her sexual orientation and out of a desire to celebrate LGBT students. She has stated that her vision “is that Lavender Graduation will be an annual celebration at every college and university in the country and that the lives of our LGBT students will be fully honored.” 

2.     How and when did Lavender Celebration begin at John Jay College?

a.     In 2016, the LGBTQ Task Force and LGBTQ+ Initiatives at John Jay created the Lavender Celebration to honor LGBTQ graduating students and award one student and one staff/faculty with the Audre Lorde Award for Social Justice.

3.     Who can participate in Lavender Celebration?

a.     John Jay College Undergraduate students, Graduate students, Professional students, and Doctoral candidates who graduated in the most recent Fall semester, or are approved to graduate in the current Spring semester.

4.     Who can attend Lavender Celebration?

a.     Lavender Celebration are typically open to the public. Participants are encouraged to invite their friends, families and loved ones. John Jay individuals from departments and units that co-sponsor Lavender Celebration or from departments and units that work closely with the LGBTQ+ Resource Center or LGBTQ+ communities are also likely to attend.

5.     Can I invite family and friends to the event?

a.     Yes! We hope that you will invite your families, friends and faculty members to witness your successes! 

6.     Who is Audre Lorde?

a.     Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia.