In 1972, a small group of Raza students walked out of their Letters and Science commencement ceremony in response to the lack of cultural relevance, the English-only environment that did not allow for their families to understand, and the limited amount of tickets that prevented all their family members to attend. Since 1973, Raza Graduation has provided a culturally empowering ceremony including speakers in English and Spanish, and performances representing historical traditions from throughout the Americas.
Raza Grad is a student-initiated, student-run graduation celebration. This unique commencement experience celebrates the cultural diversity and history of Latinas/Latinos and Chicanas/Chicanos at UCLA. It is not restricted to students who identify as Chicana/o Latina/o but instead is open to all who value the access to higher education and retention of our communities. Also, the graduation is open to all graduating students. This includes, undergraduates, and post-graduates students. Moreover, although the graduation celebrates Latinos/Latinas and Chicanos/Chicanas, participation is not limited by area of study, ethnic background, or national origin. This year we hope to commemorate the success of each Raza Grad student in achieving a degree in higher education. As we celebrate the accomplishments of these students, we also honor the community that helped them get here!