Next month, Columbia University will hold six additional graduation ceremonies for undergraduate students according to their race and other aspects of how they identify.
The six virtual ceremonies were announced by Columbia’s Multicultural Affairs department.
Native, Asian, “Latinx” and Black special events are listed as options where students can register, as well as a Lavender graduation for the LGBTQ community, and a ceremony for first-generation and low-income students, USA Today reports.
The Ivy League school told USA TODAY these events will be staged in addition to the university-wide commencement ceremony and are open to any student who wants to participate. In many cases, the voluntary multicultural ceremonies initially were created by alumni and students.
“These events provide a more intimate setting for students and guests to gather, incorporate meaningful cultural traditions and celebrate the specific contributions and achievements of their communities,” read a statement on the school’s website.
According to Forbes, “multicultural graduations have become increasingly common at U.S. universities and colleges, in an effort to acknowledge students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education.”
Georgetown University already holds ceremonies for Asian, African and Latino communities, and says the events are “a way to bring students of color together,” USA Today reported.
Conservatives took aim at Columbia University Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), suggested on Twitter the graduation events were a result of critical race theory, and claimed the endpoint of the movement would be “segregation.”
Candace Owens tweeted: “Congratulations are in order for liberals and @Columbia University for successfully bringing segregation back by packaging it as ‘diversity inclusion.’ Just one question: which ceremony do bi-racial children attend?”