MAPSO to Celebrate 2023 Lavender Graduation June 15, During Pride Month

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

From Maplewood Arts & Culture Division:

The Township of Maplewood along with the Village of South Orange and South Orange Maplewood School District to honor local LGBTQIA+ and allied High School Graduating Seniors from the class of 2023.

As part of annual June Pride Month Celebrations across MAPSO and Essex County, the Township of Maplewood and South Orange are again partnering with South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD) and community partners to present MAPSO Lavender Graduation 2023 to be held in person on June 15, 2023 at 5:30 pm in the Columbia High School Auditorium in Maplewood, New Jersey. Special guests to be announced.

The relentless attacks on the LGBTQI+ community this year, particularly against Trans youth are horrific. We reaffirm our commitment to be an inclusive and affirming place for all LGBTQI+ people, especially young people. We look forward to celebrating and honoring the hard work and successes of LGBTQI+ Youth and stand in solidarity with our community partners to recognize their contributions to our society. – Township of Maplewood Mayor, Dean Dafis

I want all LGBTQIA Youth to know that their lives matter. They are the leading voices in shaping an inclusive welcoming affirming community for all and we support them 100 percent. They are not alone. – former South Orange Maplewood Board of Education First Vice President, Shannon Cuttle

Lavender Graduation is an annual ceremony held in many schools and communities across the country to honor and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, asexual, intersex, and allied students, and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions in school and community.

The first MAPSO Lavender Graduation was held in 2018 and marked the first known townships and public school district celebration in New Jersey. The first Lavender Graduation ceremony was originally founded at the University of Michigan in 1995.

We are truly a special community when it comes to supporting our LGBTQIA+ students. I hope they know this and feel our love. We are proud of their accomplishments and our commitment to this yearly graduation tradition reinforces that Visibility Matters. Always. – Sheena Collum, South Orange Village President


What happens at Lavender Graduation?
LGBTQIA+ and allied high school senior students that register will be acknowledged with a certificate and a rainbow tassel. This year for 2023, the ceremony will be held in person.

What are the requirements to apply for MAPSO Lavender Graduation?
Must be a Maplewood or South Orange resident and a 2023 high school graduating senior. Does not have to be a SOMSD student.

I am a graduating high school senior. How can I register?
Please complete the google doc application at the link below:

MAPSO Lavender Graduation Sign-up Sheet

Please note that registration will close on May 31, 2023.
Further details will be sent out once registration is complete. For further questions please contact Sally Unsworth, Division of Arts and Culture Township of Maplewood.

Can the public attend?
Yes, we encourage the community to come out in support of our Lavender Graduates!
We look forward to celebrating our graduates!

Township of Maplewood Mayor, Dean Dafis
Village of South Orange President, Sheena Collum
South Orange Maplewood School District Board of Education President, Kaitlin Wittleder
Former South Orange Maplewood Board of Education Vice President, Shannon Cuttle
South Orange Maplewood School District Superintendent, Dr. Ronald Taylor
Columbia High School Principal, Frank Sanchez
CHS Spectrum Club
Maplewood Arts and Culture

Related Articles