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Spelman to award Tracee Ellis Ross with honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree

The actress and producer will be honored on May 21 during the HBCU's commencement ceremony.

ATLANTA — Spelman College is planning a star-studded commencement for its Class of 2023.

The historically Black women's liberal arts college will bestow Tracee Ellis Ross with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Ross, whose legal name is Tracee Joy Silberstein, is also the CEO and Founder of Pattern Beauty, which focuses on healthy hair and "encourages each hair texture to take up as much space as it desires," as it promotes curl positivity.

The entrepreneur and entertainer is known for her lead role on the comedy television series "Girlfriends," and more recently in "Black-ish" and the show's spin-offs.

"I'm excited to join the Spelman sisterhood," Ross posted on her Instagram. "What a wonderful honor."

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will also deliver the keynote address and will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project, which focuses on subjects of slavery and the founding of the U.S. Hannah-Jones is also a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine.

Both women will be honored during the Sunday, May 21 commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. at the Georgia International Center in College Park.

Spelman College will also host a baccalaureate ceremony on Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker is Reverend Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ. Blackmon was installed as the first woman and 18th pastor in the 162-year history of Christ The King United Church of Christ. As a registered nurse with more than 25 years of healthcare experience, Blackmon assisted with mobile healthcare in underserved communities with the greatest health disparities in her region.

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