While the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has prevented the traditional graduation ceremonies in schools across the country from taking place, several notable actors, musicians, and political figures have come together to provide a special alternative, per E! Online. On Saturday, May 16, Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020— a virtual honoring of the graduating class — will be taking place on multiple platforms.
The event will be simulcast by NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS, as well as by a variety of cable partners. Univision will also be showing a Spanish-language version of the event. GraduateTogether will also be streamed on platforms such as Complex Networks, Facebook, SiriusXM, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.
The event has been put together through a collaboration between the LeBron James Family Foundation, the XQ Institute, and Entertainment Industry Foundation partners. It will include a commencement message along with performances and speeches from Barack Obama, LeBron James, “National Teacher of the Year” Rodney Robinson, Zendaya, David Dobrik, and the Jonas Brothers.
Other celebrities scheduled to participate include Lana Condor, the Dolan Twins, Liza Koshy, Maren Morris, Olivia Wilde, Bad Bunny, KAROL G, Charli D’Amelio, H.E.R., Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
While plenty of celebrities will be involved, the mission statement of Graduate Together is to provide a message of “hope and unity” to the millions of high school seniors denied the opportunity to don a cap and gown and graduate while surrounded by their loved ones. The event has taken special measures to encourage at-home participation from those graduating.
“The Class of 2020 is redefining high school graduation with a first-of-its-kind national ceremony. So get ready to go big while you’re at home—because this one-hour primetime national graduation celebration is all about YOU.”
Students, teachers, and families can take part in the conversation by using the #GraduateTogether hashtag on social media. They can also submit their own stories or information about those who deserve to have their stories told to the event’s website.
Graduates are also encouraged to participate in the #GraduateTogether virtual yearbook. This can be done by using Snapchat’s #GraduateTogether lens, which places a polka-dot background behind the subject. The photo — along with the name of the student’s high school and a special message — can then be uploaded to the yearbook and take part in the celebration.
Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 will air on Saturday, May 16, at 8 p.m. EST.