Conferences & Events

Kente Graduation Celebration  

32nd Annual Spring 2024 Kente Graduation Celebration
Thursday, May 9 | Celebration Time: 6PM-7:30PM | Hollinger Fieldhouse |  Doors Open at 5PM and close at 6:30PM

The Dowdy Multicultural Center is excited to coordinate the Kente Graduation Celebration, known affectionally by students and alumni as “Kente” which is an event that was created in the fall of 1992 to “honor and celebrate the achievements of multicultural students”. Kente has become a “true West Chester University tradition”.

As the student body at West Chester University has grown in its cultural diversity, so has the event itself. Today, Kente is an event that affirms and celebrates the cultural identity of students who identify as Alaskan Native, Asian and Asian American, Black and African American, Caribbean American, Desi American, Latina/o/x, Native American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Multiracial.

Please check your email for the link. Only those that are anticipated to graduate and we have received information from the registrar will receive the email.
Registration Deadline: Friday, April 5, 2024 by 11:55pm
No exceptions will be made. This deadline will allow the office to finalize orders and make the necessary arrangements for this large-scale event. We appreciate your cooperation.
Submitting form: You must hit the “Submit” button on the bottom right-hand side of the form. If you have difficulty viewing the submit button, you may need to minimize your browser. It is recommended that you use a laptop or desktop to submit this form.
More information: You will receive a confirmation within 4 business days after your registration.  Please be sure to check your email for this.

During registration, you will be given the option to select from a variety of stoles. We will place an order for these stoles based on your selection and timely registration.

In the registration process you will have the opportunity to provide a dedication or expression of appreciation that will be included in the program. There is a 38-word limit.

Graduating students have reserved seating which will be marked. Kente volunteers will be on site to assist students in finding their seats. Accessibility accommodations can be made for graduating students who require them. Please reach out to us at to request an accommodation.

Guest seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. We suggest that students limit their number of guests to a total of six (6). NO TICKETS ARE REQUIRED to gain entry into the Kente Graduation Celebration.  Live streaming will be available in the case that the Hollinger Fieldhouse reaches seating capacity. Due to safety concerns, guests will not be permitted to stand during the graduation celebration.

Live stream is available for those that are unable to attend at:

If you are in need of any accommodations to fully participate in this event, please reach out as soon as possible to A staff member will return your email.

Email Communication: You will continue to receive emails through your account as the primary source of communication. “Kente Graduation Celebration” will continue to be in the subject line. You may receive communication directly from one of the DMC Staff members (Secretary, Assistant Director, or Associate Director) or from the email.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s): 
DMC Kente Graduation Information Page: (Feel free to place a bookmark and check for updates.)
Reach us: For questions that are not answered in the FAQ’s, you can contact our office at (610) 436-3273, or email us at
Follow us: Instagram page: @dowdymc_wcu


 What time do I arrive?
All graduates need to arrive at Hollinger Fieldhouse (Purple gym area), 150 University Ave, West Chester, PA  19383 no later than 5 p.m. to check-in, receive hood prep assistance if needed, and to line up for the celebration. We will begin the event promptly at 6 p.m.

Where do I park?
General Parking:
During the Kente Graduation Celebration, parking is free in the Commons Garage (670 S Church St, West Chester, PA 19383). Students and their guests are strongly encouraged to park in the Commons Parking Garage first for easier access to Hollinger Field House.

Accessible Parking:
Hollinger Accessible Parking - Guests with a university or state issued handicap placard can park on Church Street via Sharpless Street. You make a left off of High Street onto Sharpless Street and then another left onto Church Street.  There will be parking officers present to assist with this. If those spots are full, you can drop off at Church Street and University Avenue (as close to the building as possible) and then park in one of the garages.

What do I wear?
Please bring/wear your graduation gown and the purple and gold hood. You will not need your graduation cap.  Be sure to view the YouTube video to be familiar with the proper way to wear your hood. You can view this here: Commencement | How to Properly Wear Your Graduation Gown.  We have faculty and staff to assist with making sure you hood is worn correctly if needed. Traditionally, graduates dress up for the Kente Graduation Celebration, but we do also encourage you to come however you feel most comfortable or are able to, including as you are. No storage space will be provided. Please do not bring any extra items that will require storage.

How do I order/what is the information about my cap and gown?
You can find information about your cap and gown, diplomas, honor cords and other special regalia here:
Cap, gowns, and hoods will NOT be available at the Kente Graduation Celebration.

Will food be available?
No food will be available. Please plan accordingly.

Will there be pictures taken?
Legacy Photographics will take photographs of each graduate as they shake hands with the dignitary and as they exit the stage.  There is no obligation to purchase pictures and each graduate will receive an email proof within 48 hours of the ceremony. For more information visit

Can I pick up my stole before the ceremony?
No. Stoles will be presented at the celebration. You must be present at the celebration in order to receive the stole.

What if I cannot participate and desire to receive a stole?
In order to receive a stole, you must participate in the celebration.

How many graduates and participants will be there?
Over 350 graduates and 1,800 guests.

Who will place the stole on me?
There will be a designated staff or faculty who will do this.

Are masks required?
In keeping with current health and safety protocols, mask wearing is optional. We encourage individuals to make their own decisions regarding mask usage. Our expectation is that everyone will be respectful of individuals' choices on the matter.

Ruby Jones Conference on Race, Social Justice & Civic Leadership 

2024 RJC Flyer

Ruby Jones Conference on Race, Social Justice & Civic Leadership

Saturday, October 28, 2023

The 5th Annual Ruby Jones Conference on Race, Social Justice and Civic Leadership will take place on Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 10AM to 2:30 PM in Sykes Student Union. The goal of this conference is to create an educational environment where students can engage in learning that will raise awareness and promote action-oriented dialogue about racial, cultural and social issues that impact how students experience life on campus, in communities and in society.

The conference is named in honor of Professor Ruby Jones. Professor Jones was a West Chester University alumna and the first Black faculty hired at the institution. She was a K-12 educator prior to becoming a professor at WCU. Professor Ruby Jones was actively involved with the NAACP, American Association of University Women, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Phi Delta Kappa. She has been described as an educator, humanitarian and civic leader.

The keynote speaker for the 2022 Ruby Jones conference is Dr. Amber M. Sessoms, the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) of Natural Inclination LLC, where she supports leaders in cultivating liberatory spaces for individuals to be their full, authentic selves. She centers the voices of historically devalued communities by inviting all learners to write a new story centered on belonging, truth, and healing.  Amber is a nationally certified school psychologist and a doctorate-level adult educator, who has over 20 years of experience in the educational and mental health sectors. She is also the first person of color to be awarded PA School Psychologist of the Year by the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania and is now the first person of color to lead this organization as President. 

Amber also serves on the Board of Trustees for Millersville University, the vice-chair of Diversity Inclusion Professionals of Central Pennsylvania; chair of the IDEA committee for the Girls on the Run of Lancaster Board of Directors; and co-director of Pennsylvania’s Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Taskforce, in partnership with the Department of Education.

Registration for this event officially closes on October 27, 2023 at 11:59pm. 

Brothers of Excellence Programs

Brothers of Excellence Conference 2024 Flyer

Brothers of Excellence Conference 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024

You're invited to our 8th Annual Brothers of Excellence Conference! This conference takes place Saturday, March 30th from 10am-4pm in Sykes Student Union (110 W. Rosedale Ave., West Chester, PA 19832).  Males who identify as Asian American, Black or African American, Desi American, Indigenous, Latinx, Mixed heritage, Native American, and Pacific Islander are strongly encouraged to attend. This conference is free to college students.  Individual and groups of students from area campuses are welcome to attend.  Advance registration is required. Must register via RamConnect. 

Conference Mission:
The Brothers of Excellence Conference will provide college Men of Color with the knowledge and community connections to:

  • Identify social issues that impact Men of Color
  • Identify resources and individuals to create a sense of community of support on campus.
  • Explore their civic leadership roles in connection with their multiple identities. 

Conference Details:

  • Theme: Masculinity & Breaking Barriers
  • Attire: Business casual to suit and tie. But everyone is encouraged to attend, regardless.
  • Lunch and prizes will be provided.

If you may have any questions, please contact event organizers Ace Walker - or Chancey Page -

Learn more and register

Other Programs and Events

Peer Mentoring Program 

Spring 2024 Events 

Development Day
Friday, February 2 |  2:30pm-3:30pm
Game Night
Thursday, February 15 | 5pm-6pm
Study Night
Tuesday, February 20 | 4pm-7pm
Speed Mentoring
Tuesday, February 27 | 6pm-7pm

Development Day
Friday, March 1 | 2:30pm-3:30pm
Study Night 
Monday, March 18 | 4pm-7pm
Game Night 
Tuesday, March 26 | 6:30pm – 8pm 

Development Day
Friday, April 5 | 2:30pm-3:30pm
Zumba Dance Class
Thursday, April 11, 7:30pm-8:30pm 
Game Night
Study Night

Cultural Heritage Months 

Latina/o/x Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)

2023 Calendar of Events

Conversation Series on Latinx Environmental & Community Issues

Tuesdays – September 19 + October 10, 2023 | 1pm – 2pm | DMC – Sykes 003
Join us for a series of conversations about various social justice issues impacting Latinx communities. Food and Prizes will be provided. 
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center. No Registration Required. For more info, contact the Dowdy Multicultural Center, 610-436-3273

Latinx Heritage Month Events

Bingo: Latin X Edition | Thursday, September 21 | 3pm-4pm | DMC – Sykes 003
Join us for a fun game of bingo and learn about Latinx culture and history. Bingo winners have a chance to snag a cool gift card! 

Café & Pan | Tuesday, September 26 | 12pm - 1pm | DMC – Sykes 003 
Join the Dowdy Multicultural Center and the Global Engagement Office for some Pan Dulce and coffee while learning about study abroad funding and upcoming study abroad opportunities in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. 
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center and the Global Engagement Office.

Watch Party Wind Down | Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 12pm – 1pm | DMC – Sykes 003 
Join the Dowdy Multicultural Center for a fun afternoon of creativity and cinema! 

15th Annual Latinx Communities Conference | September 28th | 12:30pm | Sykes Student Union
Each year, this interdisciplinary conference provides a creative space to enhance the understanding of Latina/o/x issues, contributions, and cultures. They pride themselves on serving as a link between academia and local communities, institutions and organizations. Please email Dr. Daniela Johannes: or  Dr. Emily Aguiló Pérez: for more information.

Native American Heritage Month (November)

2023 Calendar of Events

Native American Heritage Month Social Justice Education Conversation Series

Monday, November 13 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm | Dowdy Multicultural Center – Sykes 003
This event serves as a safe and educational space to talk about the history of the Washington Commanders, formerly known as the Washington Redskins. During this conversation, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the origins of the team's name and discuss the significance and controversy around the name being changed. After the discussion, participants will enjoy snacks and play a game of Kahoot, where three lucky winners will have the chance to take home cool prizes! 
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center. No Registration Required. For more info, contact the Dowdy Multicultural Center, 610-436-3273

Monday, November 20 | 2:00pm –3:00pm | Dowdy Multicultural Center – Sykes 003 
This event serves as a safe and educational space to explore Native American History and the origins of Thanksgiving. Attendees will be encouraged to share their understanding of the origins of Thanksgiving and what they have learned during this event. Attendees will also have a chance to talk about this season of thankfulness and share what they are thankful for in a fun and creative way! Snacks will be provided.  
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center. No Registration Required. For more info, contact the Dowdy Multicultural Center, 610-436-3273 

Native American Heritage Month Events

Watch Party Wind Down | Wednesday, November 29 |  2:00pm –3:00pm | DMC (Sykes 003)
Join us as we watch the Disney movie “Pocahontas”! This classic Disney movie is a romanticized version of a young Native American woman and her encounter with an English colonial settler. After viewing this movie, we will discuss the true story of Pocahontas, the Powhatan people, and reflect on some of the issues emulated in the movie. Many of these issues can be connected to the current struggles many Native American groups face today.  
Sponsored by Dowdy Multicultural Center. No Registration Required. For more info, contact the Dowdy Multicultural Center, 610-436-3273

Black History Month (February) 

2024 Calendar of Events

Black History Month Events

Download the Calendar of Events here.

Pools Apart: Swimming in America as Black and White

February 8, 2024 | 3 - 4:30 pm | Philips Autograph Library 
Join the discussion about the history of racially segregated swimming and its ongoing consequences with Dr. Kodosky, Victoria Prizzia, Project Creator of POOL: A Social History of Segregation, and members of the historic Nile Swim Club's community. No registration necessary.  Hosted by the History Department. Contact Bob Kodosky: 

Black Love, Health and Wellness

Monday, February 12, 2024 | 7 PM-8:00 PM| Dowdy Multicultural Center
As a precursor to Valentine’s Day, join this presentation and discussion promoting a healthy well-being through positive self-esteem, uplifting relationships, self-care, and more.  Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center, Sisters United, Black Men United and Empowering Communities Around You (ECAY)

GET ON THE BUS- 29th Annual Sankofa Conference at Bloomsburg, University

Saturday, February 17, 2024 | All Day
The Sankofa Conference is an annual program hosted by the Multicultural Center at Bloomsburg University serving college students.  This annual gathering was designed to help students learn, understand, and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of people of African descent. It promotes unity and understanding among students and is a forum for discussion and learning. A charter bus will leave WCU’s campus early morning and return late evening. 

This year’s Sankofa Conference features a series of workshops, highlighted by a keynote address, "The Au·dac·i·ty:  Moving from Promise to Purpose." Sankofa is a word from the Akan Tribe of Ghana (West Africa).  Translated, it means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what is a risk of being left behind.”  Space is limited and advanced registration is required via RamConnect:    

Banned Books Continued

Monday, February 19- Thursday, February 28, 2024
Building upon the fall and spring programming sponsored by WCU’s Frederick Douglass Institute, stop by the Dowdy Multicultural Center in February to learn about the censorship of black authors whose works currently appear on the list of banned books. Enter your name in a drawing to win one of the many featured banned books.  There will be multiple giveaways.  All are welcome to participate!  Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center

The Nile Swim Club of Yeadon: A History

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm | Virtual
When it opened in July of 1959, the Nile Swim Club welcomed over one thousand people to its pool. The only problem that day, remembers Bill Mellix, then 13, "None of us knew how to swim." In the 1930s, an African American middle class began moving into Yeadon, leading to one of the nation's first Black suburban enclaves. By the end of the 1950s, Ebony magazine dubbed Yeadon Philadelphia's "Black Mainline." The town remained majority white however, and strict racial segregation was enforced, including the local pool. Typical for the time, white residents maintained it as a private swim club to avoid public desegregation laws. The response of Yeadon's African Americans proved unique. They built their own pool and opened it to all, regardless of race. It attracted members from the Philadelphia area, including New Jersey and offered a variety of programming. Celebrities such as Harry Belafonte and members of the Supremes visited. Decades later, hip hop icon D.J. Cash Money and actor Will Smith started out at the Nile as MCs. Join author and WCU history professor Robert Kodosky for this community program as he reveals the incredible history and legacy of the Nile Swim Club and the vibrant landmark it remains today.  Sponsored by the Chester County History Center.  This presentation is via Zoom and will be recorded and available for 7 days for all registered participants.  Visit this link for complete details and to register: 

Shaping the Future Together: Women & Femmes of Color Panel and Networking 

Thursday, February 22, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Sykes Ballroom
Join us for a panel discussion on navigating the post-graduate world as a woman of color,  dinner, and time for networking and connection with other women and femmes of color here at WCU.  Come to learn and grow, together. Sponsored by the Center for Women and Gender Equity, the Dowdy Multicultural Center, and others.  Registration is not required, but strongly encouraged. Registration is available via RamConnect link:
For more information, contact  

Brothers of Excellence (Conference) Preview and Power Hour

Friday, February 23, 2024 | 2:00 PM-3:30 PM| Dowdy Multicultural Center (DMC)
Calling all men of color!! Students, faculty, and staff are cordially invited to stop by the DMC to network, mingle, and learn more about the upcoming Brothers of Excellence Conference at WCU, an empowering and enduring campus tradition.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center. 

Black History Month Jeopardy

Monday, February 26, 2024 | 1:00 PM- 4:30 PM | Dowdy Multicultural Center
Show your knowledge and learn more!  Stop by the Dowdy Multicultural Center located on the ground floor of Sykes Student Union at your convenience throughout the day to participate in trivia. Earn prizes and other giveaways.  Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center.

 WCU at People’s Light Theatre Performance- the ripple, the wave that carried me home

February 21- March 24, 2024 | 2 PM and 7 PM
Join the community for a performance at the People’s Light Theatre in Malvern, by playwright, Christina Anderson.  Play synopsis:  Despite growing up in landlocked Kansas, Janice Collen’s childhood is defined by water—her mother and father are prominent activists in the movement to desegregate local swimming pools. As Janice comes of age and seeks meaning away from her parents’ politics, an unspoken distance grows within the family. Decades later, when Janice is asked to speak at a ceremony honoring her father, she must delve into her family’s past and reconcile the personal truths and public legacy of her inheritance. This “poignant, transporting, and quietly subversive” (TheaterMania) new play takes us on a journey through the decades, from 1930s segregation to Rodney King. Visit the DMC Events page to learn about how you can get a free student ticket and even transportation to a performance.    Complete details about the play and performance can be found here. (More to come about this event, check back for an update)

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month (April)

2024 Calendar of Events

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month Events

Celebrated nationally in May, but honored in April at WCU.

Commons Dinning Hall

All Month
Be on the lookout for Takeover Stations highlighting foods from Asian, Pacific Islands, and Desi American regions.

Film Fusion: Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month

Monday, April 8 | 2pm-3pm | DMC Space - Sykes 003
Join the Dowdy Multicultural Center for a special afternoon to honor and celebrate the richness of APIDA culture on the big screen. All are welcome to join in the festivities , complete with snacks and drinks. 

Tamagawa University

Tuesday, April 9 | 7:30 pm | Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, Philips Memorial Building
Tamagawa University returns to West Chester University for a performance of thundering Taiko drumming and folkloric Japanese dance (

Flavors of the East: APIDA Snack Attack

Monday, April 15 | 2pm-3pm | DMC Space - Sykes 003
Join the Dowdy Multicultural Center as we celebrate diversity through delicious bites! All are welcome to pop in, and savor and an array of cultural snack provided. Come, taste, and enjoy!

APIDA Heritage Month - Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance: Unpacking Asian Hate

Monday, April 22 | 6pm-7pm | DMC Space – Sykes 003
A collaboration with the WCU Asian Student Association 
Join us for an essential conversation on Asian Hate during APIDA Heritage Month, in collaboration with the Asian Student Association. Come ready to learn, share perspectives, and unite in solidarity against hate. Together, let's amplify voices and advocate for a more inclusive society!

Asian Pacific Islander Celebration

Thursday, April 26 | 5pm| Sykes 10A, 10B and Den area
Food, music, dancing

Shree Swaminarayan Temple Visit

Saturday, April 27
Cost $15 (waiting for the registration link)

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