Graduation ceremonies across the nation have been canceled as more than 4,000 higher education institutions are affected by the pandemic. As many yearn for the little things—like everyday outdoor activities—the graduating class of 2020 processes an academic exit without an official ceremony. To make up for this loss, entertainers are coming together to honor graduates through various virtual celebrations.
#Graduation2020 is a multi-hour commencement that will be broadcast on Facebook Watch and Instagram on Friday, May 15th at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET.
The digital celebration will feature many beloved Latinx artists including Cardi B, Luis Fonsi, Selena Gomez, Adam Ray Okay (known as Rosa on TikTok), Daddy Yankee, La La Anthony and Gloria Estefan.
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg will give an introduction to the commencement address by Oprah Winfrey, and Miley Cyrus will perform her hit inspirational song, “The Climb.”
“I’ve looked up to so many people in this line up so for me to be joined with them to spread positivity specifically at an event that could mean so much to so many students during this time, is such an honor,” Adam Ray tells Remezcla.
They’ve also got a virtual hub that allows users to host a graduation ceremony on FB Live with a unique URL so even those without a Facebook account can view it. Besides commencement fun, they’re also launching Community Help, a platform for college students and high school seniors where they can share their financial needs or seek moral support.
Univision is also getting in on the fun and broadcasting “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET.
President Barack Obama is set to deliver a commencement message at that one, and Bad Bunny will share a special message for students in Spanish. Univision joins the XQ Institute, The Lebron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation for the one-hour special in tribute to the millions of graduating high school seniors.
Karol G, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, and Zendaya are among the other leaders and entertainers scheduled for the special.
“I’m honored to be joining in the recognition and celebration of seniors across the country for ‘Graduate Together’ this weekend,” Karol G tells Remezcla. “While I’m sure this isn’t what any of you imagined your graduation would look like, I hope we are able to put on a celebration that is just as memorable as the one you had imagined. I applaud your resiliency during this time and look forward to seeing what the future has in store for you.”
The campaign is using #GraduarnosJuntos and #GraduateTogether to encourage students and educators to share their stories which they can also do through their website. The special broadcast will also be live-streamed on the Univision app and website at 11 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. PT.
Update, May 14 at 3:25 p.m. ET: The piece has been updated to include comment from Karol G.