Celebrating Heritage and Identity

Sonoma State University offers social and educational programs and events that affirm identities, provide space for learning, and celebrate history. Our programs and events inspire greater community and curiosity in our students, staff, and faculty and are open to the entire SSU community.

Cultural Graduation Ceremonies (Virtual) May 2021

Cultural Graduations are annual celebrations to honor Queer, Hispanic/Latinx/Indigenous, Black/African American, and Asian/Pacific Islander & Middle Eastern communities. There are four individual Cultural Graduation Ceremonies where students will be recognized one by one. This year, Cultural Graduation celebrations will be offered virtually because of the pandemic. We invite all students who feel that they are part of these communities (Black, Raza, API/ME, Rainbow) and who want to participate in these free celebrations to do so by registering on the SSU Cultural & Affinity Celebrations website, by Tuesday, April 13th. 

  • Asian, Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern (ME) Graduation - Friday, May 14th @ 6pm
    • Asian/Pacific Islander (API) and Middle Eastern (ME) Graduation is an annual celebration to commemorate the graduation success and achievements of Asian/American identified graduating students along with honoring staff, and faculty that have contributed work, community, and service to the Asian/American Desi American Pacific Islander* and Middle Eastern communities at SSU.​

*This is an acknowledgement that the API name is very limited to the breadth of the unique and vast ethnicities and cultures of the Asian countries and Diaspora, which includes but not limited to: Pacific Islander, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Desi, Desi American, Southwest Asian, Asian, Asian American, Multiracial, Multiethnic, Multinational, Transnational Adoptees, and more.

  • Raza Graduation - Wednesday, May 19th @ 6pm 
    • Raza Graduation is a culturally empowering ceremony that celebrates the diversity of the Chicanx/Hispanic/Indigenous/Latinx culture. The celebration is bilingual and brings together family, friends, and community members to honor graduating Latinx students from SSU.
  • Rainbow Graduation - Thursday, May 20th @ 6pm
    • Rainbow Graduation honors the achievements of SSU’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) graduating students. The event celebrates LGBTQIA+ students who, through determination and academic achievements, have successfully completed a degree and/or credential and encourages pride and recognition of their identities.
  • Black Graduation - Friday, May 21st @ 6pm
    • Black Graduation celebrates the brilliance and unapologetic Blackness that is represented within SSU's Black student population. We honor the accomplishments of graduating students who identify within the African Diaspora by highlighting the common experience. The ceremony also pays tribute to graduating students' families and the communities that contributed to their success. 

Trans Week of Visibility: March 29 - April 7 2021

Trans Day of Visibility is March 31st, and SSU dedicates at least one week every March and April to celebrate trans and gender diverse people. This year, we are offering a variety of virtual social events, discussions, and educational workshops that center trans communities and allies. To make this possible, The HUB Cultural Center collaborates with campus and community partners, including CAPS, Student Involvement, LGBTQ Connection, and Positive Images.

César E. Chávez Day: March 31, 2021

It has been seven years since President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring March 31, César E. Chávez Day. Five years before he died, at the age of 61, he undertook his third hunger strike to protest the dangers of pesticides for farmworkers and their children– his hunger strike lasted 36 days. Chavez’s resilience and commitment to improving the working conditions and wages of farmworkers are just as important today. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion remembers César E. Chávez’s resilience in his mission to show that every job, every worker, every person, has value. 

Womxn's History Month: March 2021

Womxn’s History Month is celebrated every March to honor the contributions of womxn throughout history. It first began as International Womxn's Day in the early 1900s and gradually expanded across the globe. Following the actions of a California school district in the late 1970s, it grew to a week-long event. In 1980, the week was proclaimed a national event by President Jimmy Carter. Six years later, 14 states lengthened the celebration to span the entire month of March, and Womxn’s History Month was officially signed into law nationwide by 1987. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion celebrates all Womxn and we recognize them this month and beyond!

Black History Month: February 2021

The Sonoma State University Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) celebrates Black History Month with a variety of programs and events. This year's theme is "I Am Black History" and we welcome the broad exchange of ideas and critical conversations that cover a wide spectrum of social justice topics that are important to us all. Please contact Mendel Murray, BFSA Membership Events Coordinator at murraymen@sonoma.edu for more information. Click here to view the list of events.

Native American Heritage Month: November 2020 

Click here to view the Native American Heritage Month Zoom Recordings. 

The Department of Native American Studies, EOP, The HUB Cultural Center, and Native American Student Mentors have collaborated to present diverse and exciting virtual programming that centers the voices of Native American scholars, activists, artists, and healers. We will be learning about how Native American communities are being impacted by, and are responding to, the impacts of COVID-19 and Climate Change. We will be celebrating language, food, cultural traditions, sustainability & strength in community! We are grateful to NAHM sponsors, The Office of the President, The School of Arts & Humanities, The School of Science & Technology, and the Educational Opportunity Program. Please contact Amal Munayer, EOP/Native American Initiative Representative (munayera@sonoma.edu) and Dr. Erica Tom, Director of Native American Studies (tome@sonoma.edu) for more information. 

Queer History Month: October 2020

With October's arrival, we celebrate Queer History Month (QHM)!  This year, the HUB Cultural Center, campus partners, and community organizations have collaborated to offer a variety of virtual social events, discussions, and educational workshops that center queer and trans communities and allies. Please contact Jor Grapentine, Gender and Sexuality Coordinator at grapenti@sonoma.edu for more information.

Latinx Heritage Month: Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 2020

Sonoma State University honors Latinx Heritage month by celebrating the cultures, identities, histories and contributions of the Latinx communities within and beyond campus. In collaboration with Santa Rosa Junior College and local community organizations, the 2020 Latinx Heritage month celebration welcomes all. Please contact Shelly Gomez, Race and Ethnicity Coordinator at gomezs@sonoma.edu for more information. 

Identity Months and Weeks

  • September 15 - October 15: Latinx Heritage Month 
  • October: Queer History Month  
    • National Coming Out Day is October 11 
  • November: Native American Heritage Month
  • November 13 -19: Transgender Awareness Week
  • February: Black History Month
  • March: Womxn's History Month
  • April: Asian, Pacific Islander & Middle Eastern Heritage Month