Lavender Celebration

The Student Equity department and our partners are excited to invite you to the 1st annual Lavender Celebration! This event will honor the accomplishments and contributions of MiraCosta College’s LGBTQIA+ students and allies. The event also recognizes significant contributions made by staff members and students to improve the campus climate for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The evening includes a meaningful ceremony, keynote address, and presentation of awards. Student honorees who participate will receive a certificate. The evening also dinner and opportunities to meet new and old friends as we celebrate the MiraCosta College’s LGBTQIA+ community and tradition of pride and activism on campus.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Award Nominations

During Lavender Celebration two awards will be presented to a MiraCosta staff or faculty member and to a student who provides extraordinary service  and commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community. Help us make sure we select the best person by nominating someone. Any MiraCosta College member (staff, faculty, or student) may nominate someone for this award.

Award recipients will be announced at the inaugural Lavender Celebration on May 16, 2019. There is no limit on the number of individuals you may nominate.  Please submit a separate from for each nominee. Nominations must be submitted by April 1st.


I’ve heard of “Lavender Gradation” but not “Lavender Celebration,” what’s the difference?
We have chosen to use the title “Lavender Celebration” to be more inclusive of the variety of accomplishments that our honorees want to celebrate. Typically Lavender Graduations honor students who have completed degree requirements and will go one to participate in the larger commencement events. Our celebration is open to both credit and non-credit students who would like their hard work honored.

Who is eligible to participate?
If you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning or asexual student or a straight or cisgender ally who has completed their program (credit or non-credit) at MiraCosta, you may register to be honored at Lavender Celebration. You must be current student in order to participate in Lavender Celebration.

I am not able to attend but I’d like to be honored, is that possible?
Absolutely! Fill out the honoree registration and indicate that you are not able to attend. Once your form has been received you will get an email with information on how to get your certificate. Although you are not able to attend you will still be listed in the program.

What is the history behind Lavender Gradations?
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. The first Lavender Graduation began at the University of Michigan in 1995, with three graduates. By 2001, there were over 45 Lavender Graduation Ceremonies at Colleges and Universities nationwide. Graduating students, including undergraduates and graduates, are invited to take part in the celebration, which occurs each year the week prior to university-wide commencement events.

What is the significance of “Lavender?”
Lavender is important to LGBTQ history.  It is a combination of the pink triangle that gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps and the black triangle designating lesbians as political prisoners in Nazi Germany. The LGBTQ civil rights movement took these symbols of hatred and combined them to make symbols and color of pride and community.

Why should I participate as a graduate?
Lavender Celebration recognizes your accomplishments as an LGBTQIA+ student or ally during your student career at MiraCosta College. It is an opportunity to celebrate with community and serves as your formal "goodbye" to the MiraCosta LGBTQIA+ community. You will be able to publicly thank supportive family, friends, teachers, mentors, and peers, and will serve as an inspiration to fellow students.

I identify as a straight ally? Can I participate?
Yes! Straight and/or cisgender allies are welcome to participate in Lavender Celebration. You do not have to identify as LGBTQIA+ in order to participate. Allies are those who take a stand when injustices occur against LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities, but who are careful to lift and honor the voices and experiences of those who are themselves LGBTQIA+. Being an ally is a lifelong journey.

Who is coordinating Lavender Celebration?
Lavender Celebration is being planned by the LGBTQIA+ Programming Working Group, that is chaired by India Pierce, LGBTQIA+ Equity Student Services Specialist. The members of the committee represent staff and faculty from the Oceanside, CLC, and San Elijo campuses.

I would like to help, how can I volunteer?
We’d love to have your help during this joyous occasion. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities please contact india pierce at