Conferences & Events
30th Annual Spring 2022 Kente Graduation Celebration
Thursday, May 12 | Celebration Time: 6 PM-7:30 PM | Doors Open at 5PM and close at 6:30PM | Tickets Required for Entry
The Dowdy Multicultural Center is excited to coordinate the Kente Graduation Celebration, known affectionally by students and alumni as “Kente” which is an event that was created in the fall of 1992 to “honor and celebrate the achievements of multicultural students”. Kente has become a “true West Chester University tradition”.
As the student body at West Chester University has grown in its cultural diversity,
so has the event itself. Today, Kente is an event that affirms and celebrates the
cultural identity of students who identify as Alaskan Native, Asian and Asian American,
Black and African American, Caribbean American, Desi American, Latina/o/x, Native
American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Multiracial.
Picking-up Reserved tickets:
Reserved tickets must be pick-up at Ram Card office/ SSI Service Center on the Ground Floor of the Sykes Student Union (Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm) starting Friday, April 8 until Thursday, May 12 (no later than 2pm) . Ram card is required to pick up your tickets and must be picked up in-person.
Number of tickets:
Your registration includes a maximum of 6 reserved tickets for family members and friends to attend Kente in support of you. Please note that the maximum number of tickets is based on the number of anticipated graduates and the capacity of Hollinger Field House.
Tickets for General Public and WCU Community (students, faculty, and staff): NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Seat capacity has been reached. Live Stream will be available at www.wcupa.edu/commencement
Live stream is available for those that are unable to attend at: www.wcupa.edu/commencement
REGISTRATION LINK AND DEADLINE
Registration link: check your email for the link. Only those that are anticipated to graduate and we have received information from the registrar will receive the email.
Deadline: Wednesday, April 6 at 11:30 p.m. E.S.T.
No exceptions will be made. This deadline will allow the office to finalize orders and make the necessary arrangements for this large-scale event. We appreciate your cooperation.
Submitting form: You must hit the “Submit” button on the bottom right-hand side of the form. If you have difficulty viewing the submit button, you may need to minimize your browser. It is recommended that you use a laptop or desktop to submit this form.
More information: You will receive a confirmation within 4 business days after your registration. Please be sure to check your email for this.
During registration, you will be given the option to select from a variety of stoles. We will place an order for these stoles based on your selection and timely registration.
DEDICATION/ EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION
In the registration process you will have the opportunity to provide a dedication or expression of appreciation that will be included in the program. There is a 38-word limit.
FAQ’S AND STAY UP TO DATE
Email Communication: You will continue to receive emails through your wcupa.edu account as the primary source of communication. “Kente Graduation Celebration” will continue to be in the subject line. You may receive communication directly from one of the DMC Staff members (Secretary, Assistant Director, or Associate Director) or from the firstname.lastname@example.org email.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s): tinyurl.com/DMCprograms
DMC Kente Graduation Information Page: tinyurl.com/DMCprograms (Feel free to place a bookmark and check for updates.)
Reach us: For questions that are not answered in the FAQ’s, you can contact our office at (610) 436-3273, or email us at email@example.com
Follow us: Instagram page: @dowdymc_wcu
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)
Why are tickets required?
The event is ticketed for the safety of all graduates and guests. The tickets are based on the number of graduates participating and the capacity of Hollinger Field House. This event has grown significantly and we want to assure that everyone is able to safely celebrate.
What time do I arrive?
All graduates need to arrive at Hollinger Fieldhouse (Purple gym area), 150 University Ave, West Chester, PA 19383 no later than 4:30 p.m. to check-in, receive hood prep assistance if needed, and to line up for the celebration. We will begin the event promptly at 6:00 p.m.
Where do I park?
During the Kente Graduation Celebration, parking is free in the Sharpless Street Parking Garage (15 Sharpless St., West Chester, PA 19383) and the New Street Parking Garage (704 S. New St., West Chester, PA 19383). Students and their guests are strongly encouraged to park in the Sharpless Parking Garage first for easier access to Hollinger Field House.
Hollinger Accessible Parking - Guests with a university or state issued handicap placard can park on Church Street via Sharpless Street. You make a left off of High Street onto Sharpless Street and then another left onto Church Street. There will be parking officers present to assist with this. If those spots are full, you can drop off at Church Street and University Avenue (as close to the building as possible) and then park in one of the garages.
What do I wear?
Please bring/wear your graduation gown and the purple and gold hood. You will not need your graduation cap. Be sure to view the YouTube video to be familiar with the proper way to wear your hood. You can view this here: Commencement | How to Properly Wear Your Graduation Gown. We have faculty and staff to assist with making sure you hood is worn correctly if needed. Traditionally, graduates dress up for the Kente Graduation Celebration, but we do also encourage you to come however you feel most comfortable or are able to, including as you are. No storage space will be provided. Please do not bring any extra items that will require storage.
How do I order/what is the information about my cap and gown?
You can find information about your cap and gown, diplomas, honor cords and other special regalia here: https://www.wcupa.edu/Commencement/student.aspx
Cap, gowns, and hoods will NOT be available at the Kente Graduation Celebration.
Will food be available?
No food will be available. Please plan accordingly.
Will there be pictures taken?
Legacy Photographics will take photographs of each graduate as they shake hands with the dignitary and as they exit the stage. There is no obligation to purchase pictures and each graduate will receive an email proof within 48 hours of the ceremony. For more information visit www.legacyphoto.com.
Can I pick up my stole before the ceremony?
No. Stoles will be presented at the celebration. You must be present at the celebration in order to receive the stole.
What if I cannot participate and desire to receive a stole?
In order to receive a stole, you must participate in the celebration.
How many graduates and participants will be there?
250 graduates and 1,500 guests.
Who will place the stole on me?
There will be a designated staff or faculty who will do this.
Are masks required?
In keeping with current health and safety protocols, mask wearing is optional. We encourage individuals to make their own decisions regarding mask usage. Our expectation is that everyone will be respectful of individuals' choices on the matter.
The 3rd Annual Ruby Jones Conference on Race, Social Justice and Civic Leadership will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2021 from 10 AM to 3 PM in Sykes Student Union.
The goal of this conference is to create an educational environment where students can engage in learning that will raise awareness and promote action-oriented dialogue about racial, cultural and social issues that impact how students experience life on campus, in communities and in society.
The conference is named in honor of Professor Ruby Jones. Professor Jones was a West Chester University alumna and the first Black faculty hired at the institution. She was a K-12 educator prior to becoming a professor at WCU. Professor Ruby Jones was actively involved with the NAACP, American Association of University Women, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Phi Delta Kappa. She has been described as an educator, humanitarian and civic leader.
The keynote speaker for the 2021 Ruby Jones conference is Dr. Jamila Lyiscott, an aspiring way-maker, community-engaged scholar, nationally renowned speaker, and the author of Black Appetite. White Food: Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice Within and Beyond the Classroom. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is the co-founder and co-director of the Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research. Dr. J is most well known for being featured on TED.com where her video, '3 Ways to Speak English,' has been viewed over 4.8 million times, and for her commissioned TED Talk, '2053' in response to the inauguration of the 45th occupant of the white house. She has delivered keynotes and workshops at hundreds of institutions throughout the nation where she works closely with youth, educators, and communities towards racial healing, equity, and justice. Dr. Lyiscott serves as co-editor of the journal of Equity & Excellence in Education, and holds faculty fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, and Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the recipient of the 2019 AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award and the 2019 Scholar-Activist & Community Advocacy Award.
To best accommodate conference participants, registration for the 2021 Ruby Jones Conference is limited to West Chester University students, faculty and staff.
Brothers of Excellence Luncheon 2022
Theme: Strength, Power, and Brotherhood
Saturday, February 26 | 12pm-2:30pm | Sykes Student Union- Ballroom
Join us in-person to connect and learn with other Men of Color!
*Men of Color includes men who identify as Asian American, Black or African American, Desi American, Indigenous, Latinx, Mixed heritage, Native American, and Pacific Islander
RSVP on RamConnect (link below) by Thursday, February 24
WCU Affiliated - Free
Non-WCU participants - Free
Lunch & Big Brother Panel
The Brothers of Excellence Conference will provide college Men of Color with the knowledge and community connections to:
- Identify a social issue that impacts Men of Color.
- Explore their civic leadership roles in connection with their multiple identities.
- Recognize resources and individuals to create a sense of community of support on campus.
Theme: Strength, Power, and Brotherhood
This year's theme, “Strength, Power and Brotherhood” will focus on the importance of unity amongst the community of Men of Color.
For this year's theme, the conference will embrace these concepts:
It's about strength, it's about power
We stay together, we don't turn our back against one another
Put in the work, put in the time, use your mind
Education, affirmation, if you want to bring attention
Reach out it's not a burden
Cultural Heritage Months
APIDAHM Animated Movie Night
Wednesday, April 20
7:30pm | DMC-Sykes 003
APIDAHM Social Justice Education Conversation Series
Thursdays, April 7, 21, 28
1pm-2pm | DMC-Sykes 003
APIDAHM Speaker: Naomi Paik –“Anti-Asian Violence, Racist Patriarchy, and Abolition”
Tuesday, April 26
3pm – 4pm | Zoom
Sign up for zoom at https://tinyurl.com/APIDAHMspeaker22
APIDA Trivia Luncheon
Wednesday, April 27
12:30pm – 1:30pm | Sykes 257
Hosted by the Asian Student Association
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month Speaker
“Anti-Asian Violence, Racist Patriarchy, & Abolition” By A. Naomi Paik
Tuesday, April 26 • (3pm – 4pm) Zoom
In this talk, A. Naomi Paik will discuss the structural roots and histories undergirding the rise of anti-Asian violence under the COVID pandemic. This talk will pay particular attention to the long histories of US racism, patriarchy, and capitalist exploitation that have targeted a vast range of peoples. It will argue against casting anti-Asian violence as “hate crimes” and call for an abolitionist approach to dismantling “life-annihilating” structures and building a “life-affirming” world in its place.
Sign up for zoom at https://tinyurl.com/APIDAHMspeaker22
More information at www.wcupa.edu/Multicultural
WCU 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series
2020 Calendar of Events
Conversation Series on Latinx Farmworkers and Immigrant Women
Mondays, October 5, 12, 19 | 12 PM
Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/dmc-latinx-fiw
In anticipation of our keynote speaker for Latinx Heritage Month: Monica Ramirez,
we will host this conversation series. Participants will be provided with videos and
media to have discussions about various intersecting topics: farmworkers, immigrant
women’s experiences, and gender equity in the workplace. Join us to delve deeper into
*Joining every conversation is encouraged but not required.
Zoom link and videos will be provided after sign-up and before each event.
Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center & the Center for Women & Gender Equity
Latinx Heritage Month Trivia
Monday, October 12 | 7:30 PM |
Register Here: http://cglink.me/s36202
Sponsored by LASO & the Dowdy Multicultural Center
Cultural Heritage Month Speaker Series: Seeking Justice for Migrant Communities Amidst COVID-19 with Mónica Ramírez
Wednesday, October 14
Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center, the Center for Women & Gender Equity & the Women's Commission
2021 Calendar of Events
Native American Heritage Month Social Justice Education Conversation Series
Mondays, November 1st, 8th, and 15th | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | DMC (Sykes 003)
November 1st Topic: Environmental Justice
November 8th Topic: Violence against Native American & Indigenous women
November 15th Topic: Decolonizing Thanksgiving
Register on RamConnect
Smithsonian American Indian Museum / Native American Heritage Month Livestream Tour
Saturday, November 6th | 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM | Virtual (Register for Link)
Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/SAIMTour (Minimum Donation of $1 Required)
Native American Heritage Month Speaker Event:
The Lenape Peoples: Past, Present, and Future presented by Daniel StrongWalker Thomas and Katelyn Lucas
Wednesday, November 17th | 6:00 PM | Zoom (Register for Zoom Link)
Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/NAHMSpeak21
Katelyn and Daniel will present an overview of the history of the Lenape (a.k.a. Delaware) peoples, and discuss the state of the multiple federally recognized Lenape sovereign Nations today whose homelands encompass eastern PA, NJ, DE and parts of NY. Their presentation will focus on the impacts of settler colonial violence, land grabs, broken treaties and other key historical events which resulted in centuries of forced removals of the Lenape people. Daniel will define and discuss the ongoing issue of corporations posing as indigenous nations, and how it’s impacts on Lenape Nations today. Katelyn will also touch on her work as a Tribal Historic Preservation Assistant for Delaware Nation, overviewing topics such as museum ethics, land acknowledgements, and efforts of reconciliation.
Celebrate! with Wampanoag Nation Singers & Dancers presented by John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Saturday, November 20th | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Virtual (Register for Link)
Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/celebrateNAHM
Indigenous Activism Inside and Outside the Academy: Perspectives from a WCU Alum
Women & Gender Studies Department & the Dowdy Multicultural Center Presents:
Tuesday, November 23rd | 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Zoom Meeting ID: 938 0727 9718
Please join us for a discussion with WCU Women's and Gender Studies alum and Indigenous rights activist, Kelsey Rose Kahsonnanowro Diabo. In this Q&A style discussion, Kelsey will share her reflections on the lived realities of what social justice work can look like, both from her time as a student and now as an alum. Indigenous activism has had a critical role intersecting in all facets other life, ranging from academics to athleticism, and Kelsey will reflect on her time at WCU, offering perspectives on continuing justice-centered work after graduating.
Native American Heritage Month Lunch & Learn
Tuesday, November 30th | 12:30 PM – 1 :30 PM | Only 15 Slots. Register for Location.
Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/NAHMLunchLearn
Black History Month Social Justice Conversation Series
Tuesdays, February 8, 15, & 22 | 1–2 pm | DMC
Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center
Activism & Action Alumni Panel: Segregation and Anti-Racism
Wednesday, February 9 | 5:30–6:30 pm
Online Event Link: https://cglink.me/2f3/r1424284
Sponsored by the Dept. of Educational
Foundations and Policy Studies
BSU Talks with Freddie Shegog
Wednesday, February 9 | 7:15pm | Sykes Theater
Sponsored by Black Student Union
Cultural Heritage Month Speaker Series: Black History Month
Wednesday, February 16 | 3–4 pm
Online Event Link: tinyurl.com/BHMSpeaker2022
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center, Center for Women and Gender Equity, and the 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series
The "N-Word" with Phi Beta Sigma
Wednesday, February 16 | 7:15pm | DMC
Sponsored by Black Student Union and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
EqualiTea Speaker Series presents:
The Affirmation Queen:
Resisting Their Expectations of the Black Woman in the Academy
Monday, February 21 | 3 pm
Online Event Link: https://cglink.me/2f3/r1441615
Sponsored by Center for Women & Gender Equity
The AfroLatino Experience
Monday, February 21 | 7:30 pm | Sykes Room 10A
Sponsored by Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc., Pi Chapter
Creating Vision Boards with Alpha Phi Alpha
Wednesday, February 23 | 7:15pm | Sykes Room 115
Sponsored by Black Student Union and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Black History Month Trivia Luncheon
Thursday, February 24 | 12–1 pm | Sykes Room 115
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center
RSVP Here: https://cglink.me/2f3/r1527250
Prizes & Lunch provided!
For questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 Calendar of Events TBD
2021 Calendar of Events
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Narratives Conversation Series
Wednesdays, April 7, 14 and 21
Time: 3:30 PM
Register here: http://cglink.me/2f3/r922101
Join us for a conversation series to celebrate APIDA Heritage Month. We will view and discuss short videos on the diverse APIDA community narratives.
Cultural Heritage Month Speaker Series: APIDA Heritage Month featuring Kristina Wong and Dr. Simran Jeet Singh
Date: Wednesday, April 14
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Register here: http://cglink.me/2f3/r1054022>
This discussion will highlight the rich diverse and history of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American communities in the U.S. Speakers will also so connect racial justice movements across the APIDA communities and specifically discuss the ongoing racism that is impacting Asian, Pacific Islander and Asian American communities because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
APIDA Heritage Month Trivia
Tuesday, April 20 at 6 PM
Register Here: http://cglink.me/r1063080
Join us for some trivia fun while learning about Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage and history. The top 3 winners will win Amazon gift cards!