Activist and educator Angela Davis is slated to deliver the commencement address for the Spelman College Class of 2021. Joining Davis, actress Danai Gurira will also speak to an accomplished class of Spelman College scholars. Hours before Davis addresses the class of 2021, Gurira will deliver a commencement address to last year's graduating class that did not have a traditional ceremony last year.
Adding to the ceremony, Spelman College will present the National Community Service Award to writer Pearl Cleage. North Carolina Rep. Alma S. Adams will also receive the National Community Service Award during the class of 2020 ceremony.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 with a set of obstacles unlike any other, and they have proven that they were up to the task,” Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell said.
“Although their lives were essentially put on pause, these two classes displayed resilience and courage and thrived despite the tremendous challenges presented by the pandemic. We are excited to celebrate this milestone with our stellar graduates and their families.”
Davis and Gurira join an accomplished list of public figures that have addressed Spelmanites on their final day of college. In recent years, former First Lady Michelle Obama, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Walgreens CEO Rosalind Gates Brewer and former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Meanwhile, Adams and Cleage follow in the footsteps of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who received the award during Spelman's last in-person commencement ceremony.
Nearby Morehouse College has also recently announced its commencement speaker. Rev. Delman L. Coates will address this year's graduating class at the historic institution. The Atlanta University Center's third member, Clark Atlanta University, has not announced its commencement speaker yet.
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