Celebrating Black Grads

the pitch
Help us commemorate the current and historical successes of Black McGillians through Black Grad, a special event for McGill’s Black community.

the highlights
Black Grad will:

  • Celebrate the accomplishments of graduating Black students, who have surmounted obstacles and defied the odds to get to this moment.
  • Provide a space for Black students to come together, as well as network with Black alumni.
  • Recognize the successes and rich history of Black McGillians and create a more engaged alumni community.

the story
Black students often face institutional barriers to accessing higher education. Even those who are successful in entering university report feelings of isolation, fears of being misunderstood by their peers, and culture shock. This phenomenon is well-documented by Dr. Rosalind Hampton in her dissertation, “Racialized Social Relations in Higher Education.”

Black Grad is a recognition and affirmation of these struggles, as well as a celebration of the fact that these graduates have – against all odds – surmounted these obstacles. Your gift will help us create an event that fosters the growth of the Black community at McGill, and provide students with the opportunity to celebrate together and build lifelong bonds.

Black Grad is part of a recent tradition at many institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and the University of Toronto. It is a special ceremony meant to commemorate and acknowledge the hardships as well as the successes of Black undergraduate, graduate, continuing studies and doctoral students.
The event will consist of a small ceremony and a cocktail reception with drinks and hors-d'oeuvres. Activities range from a grad class pic to an opening procession, featured keynote address, and more!

Meet the Project Team: 
Adrienne Piggott
  • Chair, Joint Board Senate Subcommittee on Racialized and Ethnic Persons (REP)
  • Manager, Procurement Process & Governance, Procurement Services McGill University McGill
  • In recent years, she has lent her talents to the Black Academic Scholarship Fund. She also serves as their MC for their largest fundraising event – the annual Jackie Robinson Golf Tournament, and sometimes puts her McGill translation certificate to use by serving as their translator.
Mohammed Odusanya
  • Art History & Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies
  • Advocacy Coordinator of the Black Students’ Network
  • I hope that Black Grad provides a welcoming space for Black students to affirm one another!