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CEEM weekend celebrates African American culture — updated

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

On Friday, May 13, Nikki Soriano, a graduating senior from Orange Vista High School, celebrated finishing school with high-fives and high praise from family and friends who showed up for the National Black Grads annual Black Graduate Scholarship Celebration and Recognition event. The annual ceremony recognized Soriano, as well as over 700 graduating seniors from high schools across San Bernardino and Riverside counties, with a graduation celebration.

Friday’s event was hosted by the Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement in partnership with National Black Grads, and officially kicked off CEEM weekend at the 2022 L.A. County Fair.

“The second weekend of the 2022 LA County Fair is dedicated to the achievements of African American culture and thought leaders paving the way in education, business, entertainment, technology, and beyond,” a news release said.

The afternoon featured a libation ceremony led by CEO of Center for Youth and Community Development A Majad; the Excellence Mob; live performances by the San Bernardino Pace Setters and Divine nine Greek Fraternities and Sororities; and recognition of 28 students who received $1 thousand scholarships sponsored by National Black Grads. In addition, every student received an honorable African Kente stole.

One of the 28 students who received a scholarship was Taryn Thomas, the first Black Valedictorian of Beaumont High School. Asked about the title, the excited senior replied, “it means that [the Black community] is getting closer to our goal of true equality, especially in our education.”

Thomas will study symbolic systems at Stanford university in the fall of 2022.

Following the event, CEEM hosted Black-Greek Fest. Students and family not only got to learn more about the Divine nine fraternities and sororities, nine historically Black Greek letter organizations which make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council, but got to boogie with them as well.

CEEM’s three-day affair concluded on Sunday, May 15. Festivities included “live entertainment with a surprise performance from Dancing with the Stars performer Amber Riley, panel discussions, kid zones, an art gallery, pop-up booths, a delicious lineup of food by black-owned businesses, an entrepreneur pitch competition and so much more for children and families,” a news release said.

For more details, visit https://www.ceem.coop.

Nikki Soriano, a graduating senior from Orange Vista High School, celebrated finishing school with high-fives and high praises from family and friends that showed out for the National Black Grads annual Black Graduate Scholarship Celebration and Recognition event. COURIER photos/Andrew Alonzo

 

The San Bernardino Pace Setters play their drums as they lead over 700 graduating seniors from high schools across San Bernardino and Riverside counties down a human aisle of praise toward National Black Grads annual Black Graduate Scholarship Celebration and Recognition event. The annual ceremony recognized the several hundred seniors with a graduation soriée.

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