Lavender Graduation is an annual event to celebrate the graduation and the achievements of prominent LGBTQ+ students at the University of Florida. The evening also recognizes the contributions made by both on-campus and off-campus partners for the LGBTQ+ community.

The event includes hors d’oeuvres and a chance to meet new people and catch up with old friends while we celebrate our students.

This year’s event will be held in the Reitz Union 2365 from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 20.

This year we have been fortunate to have Shanti Cruz as our keynote speaker.

Shanti Cruz is a first generation Cuban genderqueer butch with a passion for social justice. Shanti graduated with Bachelors Degree in Women’s Studies and Gender Research from the University of Florida in 2011. They became a member of Spectrum, a Queer and Transgender awareness group upon graduating and has since been a member of the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida,the LGBTQ chair for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.Shanti has worked as a Case Manager for Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network for 5 years and also facilitates a girls empowerment group in a young women’s residential detention center. Shanti has presented at the Sexual Battery Conference and the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Rural Conference discussing LGBT Intimate partner abuse and looks forward to continued community and coalition building and home-making in the greater Gainesville area.

We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community with you!