Open to all Santa Cruz County LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Students
The Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County is proud to announce the 1st Annual Graduation Ceremony for LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Students via live streaming.
June 3, 2020
The graduation ceremony is planned as a celebration to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA+) and ally students, and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to their campuses across Santa Cruz County. We honor our LGBTQIA+ and ally graduates who are graduating, and acknowledge the unique struggles many have faced on their path to graduation.
Our graduating class will receive certificates as well as trans, bi, or rainbow tassels to wear with their graduation regalia during their schools’ commencement. The ceremony will be open to the community via live streaming.
Eva Warne, one of the first students who has stepped forward for the LGBTQIA+ Graduation Ceremony, explains the details:
In conjunction with Safe Schools Project we are going to put on a graduation ceremony for the Queer Youth that are currently seniors and eighth graders this year. It will be to recognize the accomplishment of these strong individuals who are now heading into the next big step of their lives with their heads held high and proud. We hope that after this, this celebration will be able to carry on afterwards for many years to honor each graduating queer class.
As we mourn the closing of our schools and try to adjust to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, we want to commend all the hard work of our LGBTQIA+ students who have been out, proud, and working for safer campuses in our community, and take time to honor them as graduates.
As the country is encouraged to practice social distancing, many institutions are canceling or postponing their graduation ceremonies; this effort will honor the LGBTQIA+ students who are graduating this spring who may be impacted by these cancellations and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The event will include many traditional elements of a graduation ceremony, including an official welcome from the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools, various school superintendents and elected officials, a commencement address, dynamic LGBTQIA+ students, and music.
Graduating High School, GED, Junior High, & Middle School Students
- Select a 2020 rainbow, bi or trans tassel
- 2020 LGBTQIA+ yearbook — send us photos & video clips!
- Graduate FAQ
- Safe Schools Project Model Release Form
- Sign up by June 1 at 5:00 pm New extended due date
- Graduate Registration HERE
Digital Divide — help us reach students without resources
- Help bridge the divide — There are students in Santa Cruz County who do not have access to computers or cell phones — please forward to teachers, families and community members who might reach students.
- Chromebooks & Hot Spots — Each school district, including SCCS & PVUSD, are providing resources and delivery directly to students.
- Free Public WiFi Locations and Options for Low-cost Internet! — SCCOE has created a list of free public wifi locations and options for low-cost Internet!
- Learn more here.
Call for Student Artwork, Photos & Video Clips
- Artwork— Email us your art and we’ll include it in a slide show during the graduation ceremony.
- Photos — Send us your favorite photos of friends. We’ll be creating a LGBTQIA+ digital yearbook
- Video Clips — Have you created a short video you’d like to submit as part of the graduation ceremony?
- Digital Divide — If you don’t have a recording device, reach out to your school to have a resource dropped off to you. Learn more here.
Dedication to Graduates
- Send a congratulatory greeting to the LGBTQIA+ graduating high school senior, junior high or middle school class of 2020 to be included in the digital yearbook, ceremony, or website.
- Student dedications — complete this form
- Parent/guardian, family member, teacher, or a community member dedications — complete this form
Guest Speakers & Performances
- Chloë Rae Adolfo, emcee
- Paloma Medina, children’s book Looking for Marla
- Alma Isabel “Isa” Moreno, UCLA 2021, 2017 Valedictorian, Watsonville High School
- and more….
- Check out the full line up
Tune in to “Out In Santa Cruz”
Hear from Rachel Warne, founder of the LGBTQIA+ graduation ceremony, and Linus Harless, Soquel High School graduate, as they discussed the upcoming ceremony on the May 23 Out In Santa Cruz Radio Show. Correction: Linus Harless pronouns are They/Them/Theirs
Are you a family member or friend who wants to stream the virtual graduation ceremony?
- Watch, support and celebrate our LGBTQIA+ graduates
- Sign up now to view
Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County
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Sponsored, in part, by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE) — thank you!