Tracee Ellis Ross To Receive Honorary Degree From Spelman College, Nikole Hannah-Jones Will Give Commencement Speech

Tracee Ellis Ross’s work with Spelman College over the years is paying off in the form of an honorary degree she’s set to receive at the 2023 Commencement Ceremony.

The award-winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur is set to receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the renowned HBCU, a press release shared. The announcement comes after Ross came fashionably forward to speak at Spelman’s “Courageous Conversations: Black in the C-Suite” in February.

The “Black-ish” star has a history of supporting the leading liberal arts college for women. In 2020, Ross surprised Spelman students via Zoom to talk about her journey in the entertainment industry and share words of encouragement during the unparalleled time.

She also touched on the importance of authenticity and the need for more diversity in Hollywood.

“I love being a part of this ever-growing chorus of Black women owning our legacies, and owning our stories and owning our experiences,” Ross told the students.

“I feel honored for this moment to be brought into your journey and your path. I hope to see you on the world stage.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones will also serve a crucial role at the graduation while also being honored. The Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and journalist with The New York Times Magazine, will deliver the keynote address and receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Jones, who serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University, has been awarded for her investigative journalism in the form of the MacArthur Fellowship, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, and three National Magazine Awards.

She has used her journalism career to investigate racial and social injustice and founded the Center for Journalism & Democracy at Howard, co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, and opened the 1619 Freedom School in 2022.

Spelman’s commencement ceremony will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Georgia on Sunday, May 21, at 3:00 p.m.

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