You get a diploma! You get a diploma! Everyone gets a diploma!
Millions of viewers watch Friday to watch Oprah Winfrey’s main star virtual graduation ceremony for 2020 class, whose senior year was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guided by “The Office” alumni Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, this event features a hopeful message from Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Simone Biles, Selena Gomez, Cardi B, Kristen Bell, David Oyelowo, Sterling K. Brown and other entertainment figures.
Facebook’s live broadcast highlights some proud parents, students and teachers who congratulate each other – from their homes across the country – for their achievements.
The celebration of social distance also includes a nostalgic show from Miley Cyrus, who sings the song “Hannah Montana: The Movie”, “The Climb.”
Among the famous participants were Yara Shahidi, Matthew McConaughey, Gordon Ramsay, Lana Condor, Ben Platt, Hailee Steinfeld, Diplo, Usher, DJ Khaled, Andy Cohen, Whitney Cummings, Hugh Jackman, Hasan Minhaj, Netflix players “Queer Eyes“And Disney” High School Musical: The Musical: The Series “and more.
Here are some prominent moments from Friday “# Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020.”
Kaling and Novak make fun of ‘Imagine’
Kaling and Novak’s old friends started the extravaganza with some encouraging words – and humor – for the graduates by digging carefully at The famous “Imagine” video in Gal Gadot.
“Let’s not do that part,” Novak said, when Kaling brandished his harmonica and offered to sing the classic John Lennon. “I’m just trying to read a room here. I think the best thing we can do is make it all about students.”
In March, the actress “Wonder Woman” who performed the well-meaning celebrity karaoke song “Imagine” pushed eyerolls on social media.
“Okay … I don’t think it’s about me,” joked Kaling. “For all high school and college seniors across America who are working very hard to achieve this moment: This is for you.”
Awkwafina provides some practical tips
Comedian, rapper, and actress Awkwafina come true because of the video message, reminding the 2020 class, “You will make mistakes.
“It should be,” he added. “That’s how it all works. I think one of the mistakes I made was assuming that I should always have an answer at a certain point.”
The “Jumanji” star then gives some very specific examples of past missteps, such as microwaving a metal spoon and whitening his hair. “We shouldn’t always know. We shouldn’t know today,” he said. “Our experience will always be different from others. Continue truckin ‘.”
Cyrus encourages graduates to ‘keep climbing’
Before launching into his 2009 hit “The Climb,” Cyrus took some inspiration from the song’s timely lyrics to address the graduating class directly.
“I am truly honored to celebrate every one of you, high school and college students and all that you have achieved,” he said, standing before a virtual podium and a golden “2020” balloon. “I know I want to share this song with you. It feels full of new meaning. Keep your faith. Keep moving. Keep climbing.”
“There will always be another mountain / I will always want to make it move / It will always be a hard struggle / Sometimes I have to lose,” he then sang a familiar choir. “It’s not about how fast I get there / about what’s waiting on the other side / This is climbing.”
Cardi B offers academic – and financial advice
The “Money” singer Cardi B advised the class of 2020 to keep in mind their financial goals when moving on to the next stage in their lives.
“Congratulations and don’t let coronavirus … take special time from you,” he said. “When you went to college, I felt they offered you so many different classes, and it was very fun, but it seems like, make sure that the class you will take part in will benefit you one day.
“Make sure you research the career that is around the money you want to make in the future. And make sure you research a career that is like OK, when I finish and I get a job, will this work help me pay off my college debt? Will it help me live the lifestyle I want? “
Biles celebrates the winners
The Olympic champion, Biles, knew very little about winning, and he used his experience as an elite gymnast to congratulate the 2020 class on their “victory round”.
“I know you missed what was supposed to be your medal ceremony, but that … doesn’t change anything,” said the gold medalist. “You have won. So today, let’s celebrate it. Let’s celebrate all the hard work needed to get here. We are very proud of everything you have achieved.”
Oprah brought it home
The final speaker of the day, of course, was Winfrey, who had many wise suggestions ready for students to enter a new chapter in an uncertain time.
“I know you might not feel that way, but you are indeed the class chosen for this time,” he said. “Of course, this is not the graduation ceremony you dreamed of. You have dreamed about walking across the stage, your family and friends supporting you, the hat hovering happily in the air.
“But even though there may not be any splendor due to our circumstances, there has never been a graduate who was called upon to step into the future with more goals, vision, enthusiasm and energy and hope,” he said.
Then in his long speech, TV mogul urged his young audience “to defend, to fight for and choose healthier conditions that would create a healthier society,” to “create more justice or justice and more joy in the world.”
“We need you to do this because the pandemic has illuminated a large systemic imbalance that has set too many lives for too long,” Winfrey said. “For the poor, without adequate access to health services, inequality is a pre-existing condition. For immigrant communities who are forced to hide in the shadows, inequality is a pre-existing condition.
“For every black man and woman living in their American skin, afraid of even going for a jog,” he added, possibly referring to recent murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery by two whites, “inequality is a pre-existing condition.”
At the end of the event, the stream had squeezed more than 6.6 million views. Watch Winfrey’s full speech above.
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