Palm Springs Unified School District's African American Parent Advisory Council held a virtual meeting to celebrate African American and African American bi-racial seniors preparing to graduate.
Approximately 140 seniors were celebrated during the virtual event, with everyone names being read out.
All seniors have already received a special "Kente "class of 2021' graduation stole and a note of congratulations in the mail. The Kente stole will be worn by the seniors over their gown during their respective high school graduation commencement ceremony.
"AAPAC Board members decided that we needed to do something for our parents and students graduating high school," said AAPAC board member Charlie Ervin. "Kente Stoles play a large role in African history and instill a sense of pride for this great achievement of graduating high school."
Kente cloth weaving dates back almost 400 years and originated in Ghana. The cloth appeared in the African American community in 1958 when Ghana's first prime minister visited with President Eisenhower. It was the then integrated by black rights groups during the civil rights era and later adopted into hip hop fashion. The first Kente Graduation Celebration was celebrated in 1993 at West Chester University, and the tradition has spread to ceremonies at high schools and colleges across the country.
AAPAC is a network of PSUSD stakeholders formed to "give voice to the issues and concerns of parents and students.
"We collectively seek practical solutions and promote two-way communication between District parents and District officials on matters of broad educational and social interest," notes AAPACs Facebook page.