SAN DIEGO (CNS) - UC San Diego will host its commencement ceremony in person this June, with alumna Alicia Garza -- co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network -- as keynote speaker, it was announced Wednesday.
Garza, who graduated in 2002, is also principal at Black Futures Lab, which is intended to make Black communities powerful in politics.
"Alicia Garza's determination to be a catalyst for change has deeply influenced our campus community, and we are honored to feature her as our commencement keynote speaker," Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said. "Her commitment to health equity and rights for domestic workers as well as ending police violence, racism and violence against transgender and gender non- conforming people of color has made a significant impact on the lives of many in our nation and around the world."
The commencement ceremonies will be held June 12 and June 13. Graduates will have the opportunity to attend ceremonies in person on RIMAC Field, with no more than two guests.
All in-person participants should be fully vaccinated or have had a negative COVID-19 test within 24 to 72 hours prior to the ceremony. Participants will be required to complete a symptom screening upon entry.
All health and safety measures will be observed, based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and county guidelines for travel and gatherings, including continuous masking. For graduates not able to participate in person, commencement ceremonies will be offered online via livestream for all graduates, families and friends.
"This has been an academic year unlike any other," a statement from UCSD to students said. "Throughout the pandemic, you have demonstrated resilience, adaptability and a willingness to try new ways of engaging. You have affirmed UC San Diego's mission -- showing us, with optimism and courage, that we must work together to shape an innovative and equitable future."
Separate ceremonies will be held for each undergraduate college as well as the Graduate Division, Rady School of Management and the School of Global Policy and Strategy.
Events "will reflect the culture of each college and division" and will feature an address from the chancellor, a keynote talk by Garza, and a student speaker. Each registered graduate will be individually recognized whether joining remotely or in person, and the university will officially confer degrees upon all graduates. Eligible students will receive an email with additional information.
Garza also co-founded Supermajority, an organization intended to affirm and grow women's power through advocacy, community building and electoral participation. She serves as director of strategy and partnerships for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and recently authored her first book, "The Purpose of Power." Her podcast, "Lady Don't Take No," shares thoughts on politics and pop culture.