Former President Barack Obama will deliver a commencement message for America’s three million high school seniors during a televised, one-hour multimedia event, Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020.
Hosted by XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation, and The Entertainment Industry Foundation this primetime special will bring together notable figures to give a joyful tribute to America’s Class of 2020. Among those joining President Obama are LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe, H.E.R., Ben Platt, and others.
President Obama will congratulate the Class of 2020 on their accomplishments over the past four years—and reflect on the past two months, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced students in every high school across the country to adjust to new ways of learning and connecting and miss out on highly anticipated rites of passage like graduation.
“This high school graduation season will be anything but ordinary—but that’s all the more reason why the Class of 2020 deserves extraordinary advice, heartfelt encouragement, and hard-won wisdom about facing new challenges in an uncertain world,” said Russlynn Ali, CEO and co-founder of XQ Institute. “We are grateful to President Obama for giving this gift to our nation’s three million high school seniors as they #GraduateTogether.”
During the program, President Obama will also be joined by several high school students who are part of the Obama Foundation’s work to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world, including seniors from Chicago Public Schools and members of the Obama Youth Jobs Corps. As part of its mission, the Obama Foundation is focused on engaging, training, and supporting the next generation of leaders to create positive change in their communities.
ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC will simultaneously air the special on May 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT, along with more than 20 other broadcast and digital streaming partners.