Jonathan Brumfield, an Oakland artist and educator, spoke on behalf of graduate students at San Francisco State University’s Commencement on Friday, May 22.
Brumfield acknowledged the students whose protests in the late 1960s resulted in the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies at SF State. He also urged graduates to give back to their community.
“Take the opportunity you have worked so hard for to provide that privilege to a young person who has been given up on by an educational system that is not educating them,” he said.
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom also spoke at the Commencement.
“Take account. Life can either happen to you or for you. You’ve got to step up. You’ve got to step in. Don’t be a bystander,” Newsom said.
Held at AT&T Park for the first time, the graduation ceremony was attended by more than 35,000 graduates and guests. Actress Annette Bening, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and lawyer and educator Peter Gabel received honorary degrees.