Civil rights leader Maya Wiley will be the keynote speaker at the New College of Florida (NCF) graduating Class of 2023’s alternative commencement ceremony May 18, the Herald Tribune reported.
Wiley – civil rights activist, attorney, and professor – is the CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Students from the recently embattled liberal arts school are preparing for an alternative commencement this year, a “Commencement On Our Terms," given the conservative shift of the school set into motion by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The graduates will celebrate in a private gathering at an undisclosed location in downtown Sarasota.
“The students at the New College of Florida have achieved amazing academic success in the face of abhorrent challenges,” Wiley said in a press release. “They endured COVID and the politicization of their education. They have advocated tirelessly for the freedom to learn free of politics, for the freedom to be who they are, and for the freedom to fight for a campus community that embraces all who work and learn in it.
“They have been forced onto the front lines of a war against censorship, fear-mongering, and the rollback of civil rights. It is an absolute honor to be with this incredible class of leaders to celebrate their success and their commitment to liberties that lie at the heart of our democracy.”