Multicultural Programs

MLK Celebration Week

In addition to participating in MLK Day of Service each year to honor Martin Luther King Jr., UNC Asheville also hosts a week of celebratory events to remember King’s life and carry on his legacy. Events include film screenings, special speakers, and more. Previous speakers have included Michelle Alexander, Walter Kimbrough and other notable figures. Check here for more information on MLK Celebration Week 2019.


Heritage Months

The Intercultural Center and Multicultural Affairs oversee the development of designated Heritage months that celebrate the rich culture and varied histories of diverse groups in our society. Past Heritage Months observed include Hispanic Heritage Month in September/October and Native American History Month in November.


Mosaic Week

Mosaic Week is a time in which our Affinity Groups and UNC Asheville’s Hyannis House are celebrated and put in the spotlight! During Mosaic Week, we highlight the various identities reflected by our affinity groups, as well as the varying cultures present on our campus through a variety of events!


Graduation Ceremonies

Lavender Graduation

The Lavender Graduation Ceremony was created by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a Jewish lesbian, who was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her biological children because of her sexual orientation. It was through this experience that she came to understand the pain felt by her students. Encouraged by the Dean of Students at the University of Michigan, Dr. Sanlo designed the first Lavender Graduation Ceremony in 1995. This special ceremony serves to celebrate LGBTQ students and student allies of all races and ethnicities for their achievements and contributions to the university during their tenure. This is a cultural celebration that recognizes the difficulties of achieving in a climate that is often less than desirable for LGBTQ students and allies.

Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes graduating LGBTQIA students and allies of all backgrounds. During this ceremony, these students’ accomplishments are recognized and we celebrate their impact on the UNC Asheville campus!¬†Students’ friends and/or families have the opportunity to speak to and about the graduate, telling others of the student’s accomplishments, expressing their pride, and offering well wishes for the future. The speaker then drapes the cord over the student’s shoulders, symbolic of embracing the past and welcoming the future.

Donning of the Stoles

Born out of the Kente Commencement Ceremony, Donning of the Stoles has a rich history. During Kente Commencement ceremonies, African American students are bestowed with Kente cloth stoles to signify their African heritage/origins, celebrate their cultural pride, and be recognized for their achievements.

Keeping similar traditions, the Donning of the Stoles ceremony here at UNC Asheville is a time in which students of diverse cultural communities and various racial/ethnic backgrounds have their accomplishments recognized and their achievements applauded by the campus community and their loved ones.

Various key people from across the campus community take this opportunity to explain the tradition of the ceremony and its cultural significance, as well as their pride in this year’s graduating class. Students’ friends and/or families have the opportunity to speak to and about the graduate, telling others of the student’s accomplishments, expressing their pride, and offering well wishes for the future. The speaker then drapes the stole over the student’s shoulders, symbolic of embracing the past and welcoming the future.