Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Mahershala Ali, Tony Hale, Bill Hader, Christian Slater, Common, Randall Park, Rami Malek, Portia Doubleday, Thomas Mann, Anna Deavere Smith, Miranda Cosgrove, Melissa Rivers, Kevin Frazier and many more will participate in “EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live,” a special one-hour telecast which will invite the public to help rethink the future of American high schools.
They will join Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, who also serve as executive producers, in the all-star telecast, which will air live from Los Angeles on all four major U.S. networks – ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC – on Friday, Sept. 8 at 8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.
In September 2015, XQ: The Super School Project launched an open call to rethink and design the next American high schools. Since then, thousands of communities across the country have come together to reimagine high school education. “EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live” will highlight the incredible progress of this fast-growing movement and challenge viewers to build upon it.
The telecast will feature a live musical performance by Andra Day, comedy sketches and moving documentary segments to bring to life the past, present and future of high school in America. The evening will culminate in a special performance led by Jennifer Hudson with Sheryl Crow, Max Weinberg and Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, MC Hammer, Jon Boogz and Sheila E.
“We’ve been proud to partner with XQ’s team on this movement to innovate the current American high school system,” said the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Lisa Paulsen. “This live special is a continuation of that effort and will be an incredible opportunity for some of the biggest names in our industry to help inspire the public to join us in working together to prepare every student for success.”
“We all know America’s high schools need to be transformed to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist and a future that we can never see with perfect clarity. Since the launch of XQ two years ago, we have taken an empirical, crowd-sourced approach to gathering great ideas and educational solutions from communities, large and small, across the country. It has been enormously inspiring to see students, parents, educators, artists, entrepreneurs and community leaders work together to create breakthrough schools that are both innovative and rigorous,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of the Emerson Collective, and Board Chair of the XQ Institute. “On Sept. 8th, together with entertainers, celebrities, business leaders, cultural influencers, and millions of Americans watching the show on television or on-line, we will make a commitment to taking the next steps together to guarantee a first-rate education for every American high school student.”
“Our core belief at XQ is that we are best as a country when we come together to solve big problems,” said XQ Founder and CEO Russlynn Ali, "And that fixing our educational system is one of the biggest problems there is. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, we all have a vital interest in preparing America’s young people for the opportunities of the 21st century. But change of this magnitude is extraordinarily difficult, and won’t happen unless we unite around this common cause. Together with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, XQ is partnering with an extraordinary group of creative people to make the case that change is both urgently necessary but also within our reach if we work together."
The star-studded event in support of the national education initiative will broadcast live from Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. In collaboration with Davis and Tennon, the telecast will be produced by Done + Dusted and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Telecast partners also include Anonymous Content, MACRO and Wise Entertainment.
The show will also include multi-platform digital components so viewers can engage and participate online, on mobile and in their communities. To join the movement and learn more, click here.
XQ inspires communities to help reshape high school so it prepares every student for success in college, career and life. XQ: The Super School Project launched in September 2015 as an open call to rethink and design the American high school. More than 10,000 students, educators, parents and community leaders from all 50 states and representing nearly 4,000 communities answered this call by proposing innovative, student-centered models for 21st century learning. Today, these innovators and supporters are a community of 78,000 strong and growing. To date, XQ has pledged $115 million to a growing number of the most promising ideas, actively supporting these teams on their journeys to become Super Schools.
XQ is led by Co-Founder and CEO Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights under President Barack Obama, and Co-Founder and Board Chair Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective. Board members include Yo-Yo Ma, Marc Ecko, Geoffrey Canada, Michael Klein and Leon Wieseltier. For more information, click here.