The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will host its 166th commencement ceremony on Friday, December 9, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. (processional begins at 9:45 a.m.) at the Pine Bluff Convention Center and will livestream the ceremony via YouTube. Renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Benjamin Crump will serve as commencement speaker.
Listed among the Most Influential People of 2021 by TIME100, Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 Most Influential African Americans, and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, Ben Crump is one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice. He is founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law and has successfully battled to protect constitutional rights at the local, state, and federal levels.
Crump has represented clients in some of the most high-profile cases in the United States, including the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Danny Ray Thomas, and Stephon Clark. Crump represented nine of the thirteen Black women who were victims in the Holtzclaw Oklahoma City Police rape case and worked on the precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case involving excessive police force against Robbie Tolan. Most recently, Crump has represented the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the residents of Flint, Michigan in the water crisis, and the family of Henrietta Lacks in a landmark reparations case. Lacks’ cells were taken without her knowledge or approval and continue to be used in research around the world since 1951.
In 2019, Crump published “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People.” He is a frequent contributor to MSNBC, CNN, and USA Today.
Pine Bluff Convention Center doors will open at 7:30 a.m., and guests should allow extra time for entry. Doors will close once the processional begins and will not reopen until graduates are seated in the arena. Guests should refrain from parking on the lots of local businesses as ticketing and towing will be enforced. Metal detectors will be located at the main entrance. All carried-in items will be searched by security personnel prior to entering the Convention Center. Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s vehicle or discarded. Items left at the entrance will be discarded. Any unlawful items are subject to confiscation, and the person in possession of such items is subject to arrest. The University’s Clear Bag Policy will also be enforced. Backpacks, fanny packs, large purses, balloons, and noisemakers are prohibited.
The following items are allowed:
- Clear plastic bags (1 per person) no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (1 per person)
- Non-transparent clutch purses or wallets no larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″ (1 per person)
- Bags necessary for approved medical equipment
For more information about commencement exercises, contact 870.575.8487.