grad cap and tassel 2021

Antioch University Los Angeles Announces Congressmember Karen Bass As 2021 Commencement Speaker

Congressmember Bass PictureAntioch University Los Angeles (AULA) is honored to announce that Congressmember Karen Bass will deliver the commencement address at AULA’s virtual ceremony on Sunday, June 27, 2021. This is the second time Congressmember Bass will serve as commencement speaker, having done so in 2010.

“I look forward to addressing the Antioch University of 2021 – after the year we’ve had, it is more important than ever that our young people stay committed to change, to serve others, and to make positive change in the world,” said Congressmember Bass.

“Congressmember Bass has been a tireless and effective champion for a just, equitable society,” said Mark Hower, PhD, Antioch University Los Angeles President and CEO. “Antioch University is honored that she will be speaking to our students as Southern California and the nation begins to open up again. We have much to celebrate and also much work to do to address inequities and to realize the promise of a society that works for all.”

Congressmember Karen Bass represents the 37th Congressional District, which includes Culver City. Congressmember Bass serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. She also serves on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, where she is active in working to craft sound criminal justice reform policies.

Congressmember Bass served as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2019 and 2020. During her tenure, the Congressional Black Caucus worked with the Congressional Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native American Caucuses to demand a targeted response to the COVID-19 pandemic and initiate a national needs assessment for communities of color. She also introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act – the most transformative piece of policing legislation to ever pass in a chamber of Congress.

Congressmember Bass has also served on the Judiciary Committee since 2012. Her work on this committee includes passing sweeping criminal justice reforms, including the First Step Act and reforms to our prison system with an eye on how women are treated in prisons. Congressmember Bass also helped pass the Equality Act of 2020, which would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment and housing.

Antioch’s commencement ceremony will honor more than 300 graduates. Members of AULA’s 2021 graduating class will receive master’s degrees in creative writing, education, nonprofit management, psychology, and urban sustainability. Undergraduate degrees will be awarded in liberal studies, applied studies, applied arts and media, urban communities and justice, and applied technology and business leadership. Completers from Antioch’s Bridge Program, which provides university-level credits in the humanities at no cost to those who have not previously had access to higher education, will be honored during the ceremony.

The virtual ceremony will begin at 10:00 am PT and will be streamed live at

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Karen Hamilton

Karen Hamilton

Karen Hamilton ’17 (Antioch Los Angeles, MA) is Antioch's Director of Marketing for Content and Communications. She has used her storytelling and copywriting skills for more than twenty years, crafting articles and creating publications. She believes that communication is a powerful driver for social change.
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