Santa Clara University

Office for Diversity and Inclusion

Upcoming Events


  •  A Tribute to Maya Angelou

    A.J. Williams: A Tribute to Maya
    May 29th, 2014

    By now we have all heard the tragic and bitter news that Marguerite Johnson, better known as Maya Angelou, the eminent poet, writer, and activist, died Wednesday, at the age of 86.  And now, while it is most definitely saddening, her passing in and of itself is not tragic.  Eighty-six years spent as astoundingly productive as hers were on this planet earns anyone the right to go out on their own terms.  Death is the natural outcome for all who inhabit this world, and it is something quite sadly that we’ve become all too numb and accustomed to in our present society.  Dr. Angelou’s passing is tragic however, because rarely does the world lose so transcendent a figure; so poignant a thinker, so skilled a communicator, such a powerhouse of an individual.  Maya Angelou was all these things and more.  She, through her words both written and spoken, and through her life filled with struggle and triumph, touched the lives of millions all over the globe.

    From Presidents and dignitaries, to celebrities and entertainers, athletes, world leaders and the downtrodden and disenfranchised – especially the downtrodden and disenfranchised – men, women, and children of every creed and color, for those familiar with the work of Maya Angelou, she meant something.  She stood for something.  An icon and pillar of hope, optimism, rarefied expressionism, sensuality and individuality, women’s and more broadly human rights, and especially for change; for all those reasons her passing is truly tragic.

    For me, her passing is yet another reminder that there remain amongst us those who experienced the days of segregated drinking fountains, the terror of lynchings, the stinging loss of assassinated martyrs, and the indignity of bigotry as normalcy.  There are those for whom those things are not history lessons but memories.  And by the same token there are those very same individuals who have witnessed the miraculous and continuous transformation of this nation’s conscience and moral center, so much so that an African-American family now calls the White House home.

    She, like all elders in my life as an African-American male, was a connection to our past.  Maya Angelou knew and worked with the likes of James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  She was a contemporary of theirs.  She had seen and shared in their struggles firsthand, and so she therefore immediately and unquestionably garnered my respect.  I, like most who will read this, never had the opportunity to meet Maya Angelou, but I saw in her eyes the magnitude and fortitude of wisdom and experience, and I revered her as a grandmotherly figure.

    To that end, and in keeping it in the family, so to speak, I’d like to end this tribute with a quote from my 22 year old brother, Delon Tomas Cone, who is currently a rising senior at Alabama’s oldest HBCU, Talladega College.  As many did when they heard the news, he took to social media, Facebook in this instance, to express his support and gratitude to an extraordinary life lived:

    Hurt by (her) exit, but inspired by (her) life ... I've always loved and admired her work, even at times I aspired to be like her work; magnificent.  Her work broke barriers and gave people hope.  Change the world from crack rock to dope; figuratively.  This phenomenal woman has given rise to a phenomenal nation of women who rise like air without a care; independent. Her work spanned the gambit from love, lust, and sensual touch, but there's one I love the most; it’s simply clutch.  ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ is a masterpiece.  It gives new meaning to easily forgotten themes; Freedom.  Well, enjoy your freedom honeybee, you sweet phenomenal woman.  I know you'll sing and dance like David.  I know you'll rise like air when you're flying way up high.  I know you'll sing the songs of the liberated, so enjoy yourself in the kingdom; Heaven.  Rest in Paradise my queen!

    Well lived, well-traveled, world renowned, and, in a word, remarkable. Maya Angelou was, is, and will forever be one of The Legends amongst us.


    A.J. Howell Williams is the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission at Santa Clara University and the author of the books, The Truth Between the Lines and Divided We Fall, Ignorant We Fail.

  •  San Jose 2014 Juneteenth Events on June 14 and 15


  •  Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies Banquet

  •  June Senior Ceremonies

    Lavender Ceremony

    Thursday, June 5, 2014
    5 to 6 p.m.
    Kennedy Commons

    Pan-Asian Senior Ceremony

    Thursday, June 12, 2014 
    Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
    Ceremony starts at 5 p.m.
    California Mission Room, Benson Center
    Sponsored by the Office for Multicultural Learning
    By invitation only

    Black Senior Ceremony

    Thursday, June 12, 2014
    Doors open at 6 p.m.
    Ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m.
    Williman Room, Benson Center
    Sponsored by the Office for Multicultural Learning
    By invitation only

    Chicano/Latino Senior Ceremony

    Thursday, June 12, 2014 
    Doors open at 7 p.m.
    Ceremony starts at 7:30 pm
    Mayer Theatre
    Sponsored by the Office for Multicultural Learning
    By invitation only