People of Nia Celebration


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and President Smatresk's latest mandate, we canceled our identity based graduations for Spring 2020. Students who registered for the ceremony will receive an email with details on when and how to pick up their stoles. Please follow us on social media for updates regarding future graduations!


The Multicultural Center collaborates with numerous departments, in addition to cultural and ethnic student groups, to coordinate culturally-based graduation ceremonies that complement the University’s commencement celebrations. These cultural celebrations acknowledge the value and uniqueness of underrepresented student experiences and serves to commemorate and highlight the accomplishments of individuals within a familial and cultural context.

*** Please note that registration will automatically close once we reach our capacity. After receiving your registration we will contact you to confirm your attendance and give you further details about the event.***

The People of Nia Celebration was created by the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) and Black Student Alliance (BSA) at Iowa State University in 1997. As a proactive strategy, the organizations decided to focus on targeted student profiles that were not only surviving at the institution, but were doing well academically and were on track to graduate. They felt it was crucial to restore the pride, heritage, and sense of purpose that their ancestry passed on to them throughout history. As a result, the Black students named the ceremony Nia, which is the fifth principle of Kwanzaa, which means “purpose.” With the assistance of student leaders from the Black Student Union (BSU) the People of Nia celebrations have been occurring on UNT’s campus since 2012. The Multicultural Center is proud to sponsor the PoN ceremony with support from faculty, staff, and students.

Multicultural Graduations FAQ

When and where is the People of Nia celebration?

Information for next year's ceremony will be posted in Spring 2021!

Who can participate in the Multicultural Graduations?
Any UNT student (undergraduate or graduate) who will be graduating in Spring 2020 can participate. We provide stoles for the following identities:

  • Multicultural Stoles – Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian, Multiracial identities, etc.
  • Kente Stoles (People of Nia) – African, African American, Black identities
  • Serape Stoles (La Raza) – Hispanic/Latinx identities

Do I need to fill out an application/register to participate?
Yes! The registration form serves to inform the graduation committees who to include in their programs, how many students to expect, etc. While we would like to provide a stole and celebrate every graduating senior, stoles are limited so please register early!

Where can I find a registration form?
Spring registration information can be found below!

Do I still need to apply for graduation with the Registrar’s Office?
Yes. This is NOT an application for graduation. It is an application for identity based graduation ceremonies that complement the University’s commencement celebrations.

How many guests may I invite?
As many as you like!

What does it cost?
What does it cost? Nothing! It is FREE for you, your family, and friends.

What if I am graduating in the Fall?
While the Multicultural Center only hosts identity based graduation ceremonies during the Spring semester, those graduating in December can still purchase a stole at:

There are a variety of options for purchasing stoles and students are not required to use the same vendor as the MC.

Who can I speak to if I have questions?
If you have any questions please feel free to email us at


Please check back for updates regarding Spring 2021 ceremonies!