Conferences & Events

Kente Graduation Celebration  

25th Annual Fall 2022 Kente Graduation Celebration
Friday, December 16 | Celebration Time: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM | Doors Open at 5:30PM and close at 7:00PM

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.

 REGISTRATION LINK AND DEADLINE
Please 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. 
Registration Deadline: Friday, November 18, 2022 by 11:55pm EST.
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.

STOLE OPTIONS
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.

SEATING 
Students:
Graduating students have reserved seating which will be marked. Kente volunteers will be on site to assist students in finding their seats. Accessibility accommodations can be made for graduating students who require them. Pease reach out to us at multicultural@wcupa.edu to request an accommodation.  
 
Guests: 
Guest seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. We suggest that students limit their number of guests to a total of six (6). Live streaming will be available in the case that the Hollinger Fieldhouse reaches seating capacity. Due to safety concerns, guests will not be permitted to stand during the graduation celebration. 

LIVE STREAM
Live stream is available for those that are unable to attend at: www.wcupa.edu/commencement

ACCOMMODATIONS
If you are in need of any accommodations to fully participate in this event, please reach out as soon as possible to multicultural@wcupa.edu. A staff member will return your email.


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 multicultural@wcupa.edu 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 multicultural@wcupa.edu
Follow us: Instagram page: @dowdymc_wcu

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)

 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 5:30 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 6:30 p.m.

Where do I park?
General Parking:
During the Kente Graduation Celebration, parking is free in the Sharpless Street Parking Garage (15 Sharpless 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. 
 
Accessible Parking:  
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?

Over 350 graduates and 1,800 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. 

Ruby Jones Conference on Race, Social Justice & Civic Leadership 

2022 RJC Flyer

The 4th Annual Ruby Jones Conference on Race, Social Justice and Civic Leadership will take place on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 from 9AM to 1:30 PM in Sykes Student Union. This year's theme is Race, Social Justice and Civic Leadership in the Arts. 

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 2022 Ruby Jones conference is Bryan Terrell Clark, a Yale and Temple University graduate and an accomplished actor and singer/songwriter. He has performed in hugely successful Broadway shows and a wide range of popular television programming for various networks. He is best known for his role as George Washington in the record-breaking Broadway hit Hamilton and as Marvin Gaye in Motown: The Musical. He received a 2014 Grammy Award nomination for “Best Musical Theater Album” and most recently appeared in Ava DuVernay’s 2020 Peabody Award winning Netflix mini series When They See Us. His other numerous appearances include CBS’s  NCIS: New Orleans, Blue Bloods, CSI: NY and The Unit, Fox’s Empire, as well as BET’s The New Edition Story and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. As a singer, songwriter and producer, he has written with  Mary J. Blige and has performed with such artists as Maxwell, Brandy, Ne-Yo, Anita Baker, Michael Bublé and many others. He is also the recipient of the 2018 VOICE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD From Rutgers University, the 2019 GALLERY OF SUCCESS AWARD from Temple University,  HELP USA 2019 “Help Hero Award” for Volunteerism for his ongoing commitment to social change and activism.  

Registration for this event officially closes on October 8, 2022 at 11:59pm. 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER HERE

*Because this event is taking place during class time; registrants have the ability to pick specific times in which they will be available to attend the conference. This way, all are able to enjoy the conference when their schedule permits.*

Brothers of Excellence Conference

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


Registration
RSVP on RamConnect (link below) by Thursday, February 24

RSVP

WCU Affiliated - Free
Non-WCU participants - Free


Conference Schedule
Networking Session
Lunch & Big Brother Panel
Keynote Speaker
Prizes


Conference Mission
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

For questions email multicultural@wcupa.edu


Cultural Heritage Months 

Latina/o/x Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)

 

2022 Calendar of Events

Conversation Series on Latinx Environmental & Community Issues

Tuesdays, September 20, 27, and October 4 | 1PM - 2PM | DMC (Sykes 003)

Topics:
September 20:
Environmental Issues & Latinx Communities

September 27: Intergenerational Trauma

October 4: Decolonization of Online Spaces

Latinx Heritage Month Events

"Mushroom" the play | September 16 | 7:30pm | People's Light Performing Arts Theater
This play takes place in Kennett Square, “the mushroom capital of the world,” and examines the lives of immigrant families. Attendees get a glimpse into how immigrant families handle workplace issues, romance, and the presence of ICE in Spanish and in English. Please reach out to the DMC for free tickets to this event!

Latinx Trivia Night | Thursday, September 22 | 6pm –7pm | DMC Space (Sykes 003)
Join the DMC for some trivia fun while learning about latinx culture and history. Trivia winners have a chance to snag a cool gift card!

14th Annual Latinx Communities Conference | September 29 | 9am - 4pm | Sykes Student Union
Each year, this interdisciplinary conference provides a creative space to enhance the understanding of Latina/o/x issues, contributions, and cultures. They pride themselves on serving as a link between academia and local communities, institutions and organizations. Please email Dr. Daniela Johannes: djohannes@wcupa.edu or  Dr. Emily Aguiló Pérez: eaguilo@wcupa.edu for more information.

LatinXcellence Panel | October 6 | 6pm-7pm | Sykes 210
Please join us for a night of honest discussion on the importance of having Latinx culture and community on WCU's campus. Empanadas will be served!

Native American Heritage Month (November)

2022 Calendar of Events

Native American Heritage Month Social Justice Education Conversation Series

Thursday, November 3, 10, 17 | 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | DMC (Sykes 003)
Food and Prizes will be provided.

Topics:
November 3: Protecting Natural Resources: Land Rights, Water Rights, and Environmental Protections

November 10: Native American Representation in Educational Systems
Virtual Zoom: https://tinyurl.com/nahmSJE2

November 17: Thanksgiving: National day of Mourning

Native American Heritage Month Events

Trivia Night: Lenape Edition | Thursday, November 10, 2022 |  5pm –6pm | DMC (Sykes 003)
Join the DMC for some trivia fun while learning about Native American culture and history. Trivia winners have a chance to snag a cool gift card!

Cooking Demo: Lenape Edition | Tuesday, November 15, 2022 | 5pm –6pm | SECC Cooking Lab
Join the DMC in making a delicious meal using traditional Lenape ingredients!

Black History Month (February) 

Black History Month Calendar 2022

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 multicultural@wcupa.edu

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month (April)

 

2022 Calendar of Events
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Narratives Conversation Series

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

APIDA Picnic
DATE TBD
Academic Quad
Hosted by the Asian Student Association

More information at www.wcupa.edu/Multicultural
Questions? multicultural@wcupa.edu

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

Questions? multicultural@wcupa.edu
WCU 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series

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