Sunday, June 16, 2024

It’s Personal! Civil Rights Attorney Areva Martin’s Statement on Cancellation of Columbia University Commencement Ceremony

Areva Martin
Areva Martin

*Beverly Hills, CA – Prominent civil rights attorney Areva Martin, who has two daughters graduating from Columbia Law School, expressed dismay at the cancellation of Columbia’s main commencement ceremony.

Columbia announced it will replace its longstanding university-wide commencement ceremony with smaller, school-based celebrations after weeks marked by protests and arrests.

Martin will serve as a speaker at a May 14 commencement event hosted by the Columbia Black Law Students Association.

“I share in the profound disappointment of the students who will be denied the opportunity to have their traditional, time-honored graduation ceremony,” said Martin. “I am dismayed and upset as a practicing civil rights attorney as well as the parent of two daughters in the joint JD/MBA program. These students began their law careers in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and will now have their hard-won success marred by the compounded disappointment of the administration denying them the graduation experience. I was honored to be asked to speak at one of the graduation events, especially given the significance of these ceremonies in the aftermath of COVID-19, when the students had to endure a very attenuated, isolating college campus community.

Martin added: “The school’s security concerns strain credulity because they are continuing to permit other celebrations. This is a large, leading university accustomed to hosting major events with heads of state, presidents, vice presidents, members of Congress and others. By all appearances, the university is trying to insulate the administration from public displays of criticism — not a just reason to deny tens of thousands of students, parents and loved ones of the most important events in their lives.”

Columbia Univ - Depositphotos
Columbia Univ – Depositphotos

Areva Martin’s Special Needs Network, Inc. is a nonprofit grassroots 501(c)(3) organization responding to the crisis of autism and other developmental disabilities in underserved communities. We recognize the intersectionality of individuals with disabilities and that their fight for disability rights is inextricably tied to the fight for racial justice and the civil rights of all people. For more information, visit

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB.COM: Kenan Thompson is Supportive of Protests At Columbia As Long As They Don’t Involve HIS Daughter in ‘SNL’ Comical Cold Open | WATCH 

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