At right is Ambassador Michael Lawson, LAUL CEO/president (Courtesy photo)

The Los Angeles Urban League in conjunction with Black College Success held its 2023 Los Angeles County High School Graduates Celebration on Friday, June 2, at California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The free event was a celebration of Black students whose graduations are sometimes just seen as just another education statistic.  It was a resounding success.

More than 400 individuals, including parents, family members, friends, politicians, California education officials, were present to honor the students.  Ambassador Michael Lawson, LAUL president and CEO, and Jamecca Marshall, LAUL vice president of Programs, presented the students with monetary awards on behalf the Los Angeles Urban League.

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Cynthia Heard, LAUL executive vice president/COO, thanked the event partners, which included Black College Success and L.A. Promise Fund for their support. She also informed the students that the Los Angeles Urban League is their home, and they should return to it whenever they need help.

(Courtesy photo)

Heard introduced L.A. Councilwoman Heather Hutt, who encouraged the students to dream big and she advised graduates on the subject of leadership: “You have to do what you are called to do and when people call you to do the work, answer the call, that’s your job.”

“I challenged you graduates to strive for excellence, because it is possible if you learn to be diligent regarding your educational pursuits,” said Lawson.

“We thank Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho for his support of the Black Student Achievement Plan and look forward to his remarks this evening.”

(Courtesy photo)

Carvalho gave an inspirational speech of his journey from being unlikely to succeed to the present where he is celebrated as one of the most accomplished Superintendents in America’s history.

This year’s annual celebration also featured actor Cedric Joe, California Teachers Association President E. Toby Boyd, McDonald’s 2023 Black Change Leader Kamarie Brown, and Spectrum News 1 anchor Seth Lemon, who served as the evening’s emcee.

They saluted the students and praised their support systems for the evening’s graduation awardees. Pastor J. Edgar Boyd of First AME Church gave the invocation. Well-known rapper and poet Kritta and songstress Jhala Angelique provided the entertainment.

(Courtesy photo)

The standing room only event was live streamed to social media. A video of the event will be posted on the Los Angeles Urban League’s website. Visit to view the video.