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Dr. Mona Lake Jones, keynote speaker for Bellevue College’s 49th annual commencement ceremony.

Dr. Mona Lake Jones, keynote speaker for Bellevue College’s 49th annual commencement ceremony.Poet Laureate to speak on making a difference. 

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Author, educator and community activist, Dr. Mona Lake Jones will address graduates as the keynote speaker for Bellevue College’s 49th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, June 17, in Seattle’s Key Arena.

 Jones, who has served as Poet Curator and Poet Laureate for the City of Seattle and Martin Luther King County, travels extensively throughout the country speaking on issues of culture and diversity.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Bellevue College’s 50th year celebration,” said Jones.  “Besides congratulating the graduates for the life stories they have written thus far, I will prompt them to think about the next chapters in their book.”

Jones is well known for her books, The Color of Culture, The Color of Culture II, The Color of Culture III, and Unleashing the Power of a Sister.  Her forthcoming work, Nectar from Grandhoney will be released this summer. Her 1992 poem, A Roomful of Sisters was commissioned by 100 Black Women of Boston, a national civic group, and exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

She has received numerous awards, including being selected by the Ford Foundation as one of the Nation’s Freedom Sisters and was recently added to the United States African American History Makers Registry. 

She has appeared on programs with Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Susan Taylor, Maxine Waters, Shirley Chisholm, Myrlie Evers-Williams and Randall Robinson. Jones also composed lyrics for musical artist Vanessa Williams.

She has served as president of the Washington State Community College Black Educators, as National Vice-President of the Council of Black American Affairs and was president of the Black Child Development Institute from 1995 to 1997. She presently serves on the YWCA Women of Color Council.

Jones holds an Ed.D. from Seattle University, a Master of Education from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Education from Washington State University.

Bellevue College expects to award 2,526 bachelor’s and associate degrees, certificates and diplomas to 2,255 students. About 1,931 of this year’s graduating class will be comprised of graduates who will receive associate degrees. The class will include students as young as 17 and as old as 74, with an average age of approximately 28. Approximately 895 students are expected to graduate with distinction (3.5 grade point average or higher).