Winter Commencement at Oakland University

I was recently asked to speak at the commencement ceremony for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oakland University to welcome the new graduates.

As I walked through the tunnel of the O’rena, so many memories came flooding back. Memories of people, programs and experiences that helped me to not only graduate, but to find my voice and passion for social justice.

I was also extremely moved by the family members and other loved ones, some of which were in tears, who were there in support of their graduates. I believe that none of us “gets there” by ourselves, and that we are who we are because of others.

So as I congratulated the graduates on a job well done, I thanked the families who were there as well, as their unwavering support will continue to be needed in the months and days to come.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW

Relando Thompkins-Jones

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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