Celebrities, activists, artists, and students themselves admit more than 3 million American graduates in high school in an event that was broadcast widely on Saturday night, after the coronavirus robbed senior graduates of important milestones.
The virtual event, called “Joint Graduates: Americans Respect the 2020 Class,” brought a message that echoed about society when COVID-19 ruled out the possibility of a large meeting.
In his opening remarks, former President Barack Obama told students that they had faced a great challenge to reach this point.
“Passing is a great achievement in any circumstance. Some of you have to overcome serious obstacles along the way,” he said.
But just as seniors are ready to celebrate past the finish line, a pandemic of coronaviruses is sweeping.
Acknowledging the new uncertainty introduced by this pandemic, Obama told the 2020 class that the global health crisis will force them to grow faster.
“When everything is ready to be fought over, this is the world of your generation to be formed,” Obama said.
“This pandemic has shaken the status quo, and exposed many of our country’s deep problems,” he said, pointing to economic inequality, systemic racism, and health care inequalities.
The former president closes with one last piece of advice: Build community.
“Nobody does great things themselves,” he said. “If we are going to save the environment and defeat the future pandemic, we must do it together. So live for each other’s struggles. Stand up for each other’s rights. Leave all the old ways of thinking that separate us.”
Basketball star LeBron James, whose activities are centered on basic education, spreading the message “stay at home” that spreads during the public health crisis becomes a metaphorical message: “Stay close to home.”
“Class 2020, the world has changed. You will determine how we rebuild, and I ask that you make your community your priority,” James said.
Megan Rapinoe, a soccer player for the U.S. Women’s National Team, told seniors, “I will not ask you to come together. I will ask you to demand better.”
He encouraged students to vote in November, adding, “Who is in charge of the problem.”
Educational activist Malala Yousafzai also lost her graduation after studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.
He asked viewers to remember young women in the world who would not be able to return to school after the coronavirus crisis pushed them into forced marriages and low-paying jobs.
“When you go out and change the world, don’t leave them alone,” he said.
The speech was interspersed by students who thanked the teacher, tribute from parents and many TikTok clips.
Musicians step in front of a green screen that displays videos of dancing and playing senior instruments. Special performances included Dua Lipa, H.E.R., Zendaya, Shaquille O’Neal, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams and YBN Cordae.
Broadway stars Ben Platt and his brothers, Henry and Jonah Platt, sing the cappella medley from popular graduation songs – supported by student support vocals – including “Graduation (Friends Forever)” Vitamin C “and The Beatles” In My Life. “
The Jonas Brothers closed the show with a new song, “X,” which featured Karol G, which was followed by students dancing in sync through video.
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