UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) of Penn State Law at University Park held its annual Donning of the Kente Ceremony on April 22 to celebrate its 2022 graduating members. Faculty, staff, family, friends and peers joined the ceremony to share congratulations, memories and words of support with the graduates as they prepare to enter the legal profession.
The BLSA members of the Penn State Law Class of 2022 are Sharai Bryan, Breyonnia Duggins, Ayanna Humphrey, Brea Jones, Sidnee McDonald, Skyler Morgan, Melanie Ouma and Tyson Smith.
The keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony was Tamla J. Lewis, associate general counsel at Penn State. In her speech to graduates, Lewis shared memories of her own experiences as a black woman in law school and, now, in the legal field. She stressed the importance of mentors and encouraged future graduates to develop their voices as individuals.
She also spoke of the importance of Kente fabric – which was developed in Ghana and adopted as a symbol of prestige, reserved for special occasions.
“Every time you look at Kente Cloth it should be a call to action, to swing the pendulum forward, not just for you but for those who come after you,” Lewis said. “Wear it with pride, and I hope you feel a sense of accomplishment when you do.”